Eleven arrested for alleged membership in a gang that lured girls and women to the sex trade in India through the social media platform.
At least 11 people have been arrested for allegedly being members of a Bangladeshi trafficking gang that lured girls and women to India’s neighboring sex trade via the social media platform TikTok, Dhaka police said.
The alleged leader of the gang, Rafizul Islam Ridoy, called TikTok Ridoy, “would attract young girls from TikTok and other social media groups, promising to turn them into TikTok models,” the paramilitary unit of the TikTok Battalion said on Tuesday. ‘Rapid Action (RAB) of Bangladesh.
But the victims were relocated to southern India and forced to work sexually, according to a RAB statement.
The arrests came after video footage of an alleged sexual assault on a Bangladeshi woman went viral on social media in late May, prompting an investigation by the gang, the RAB said.
All the suspects were arrested during the last week.
The latest arrests came on Monday when two men were detained in a southwestern border district of Bangladesh for alleged trafficking of women and girls between the ages of 17 and 22, Dhaka Deputy Police Commissioner Mohammad Shahidullah said .
“One of them has told us that he has sent 1,000 people to India,” Shahidullah told AFP news agency.
A total of nine people were arrested in Bangladesh and two more in India’s technology center, Bengaluru, for allegedly being part of the traffic gang, police added.
Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant told AFP on Tuesday that four other people were also arrested and charged with raping or inciting the alleged sexual assault shown in the video.
Another person arrested late Tuesday had not yet been questioned, he added.
All were Bangladeshi nationals, police in both countries reported.
Ridoy was one of those in the custody of the Bengaluru authorities, Dhaka police added.
Shahidullah said that since 2019, when TikTok became popular in Bangladesh, these gangs had emerged to attract teenagers from low-income families.
They would be invited to pool parties, star in TikTok videos, and “sell well-paid salary dreams at call centers, sales and service centers,” he added.