Updated: Nov 12
Local news celebrated the collaboration between parents, non profits and police that brought rescue to Nazia and 6 other victims of sex trafficking.
At age 19, Nazia was excited to move to India and start a new job. Although she had been cautioned against crossing the border into India, she participated in remote job training and felt confident in the legitimacy of this employment opportunity. When Nazia arrived in India and discovered the job was prostitution, she immediately contacted her parents asking for help. On October 5th, another organization in Bangladesh contacted Freedom Firm and asked us to locate and rescue her.
As soon as we verified Nazia’s location, we met with police to plan a rescue. When the police did not respond to us, so we called an emergency hotline and then two officers arrived within 20 minutes. It was critical to initiate the raid as soon as possible before the brothel keeper had the chance to move Nazia.
Just past midnight on October 7th, our team helped the police raid the location. We found two young women in one of the rooms before finding Nazia with two other victims in a different room. We received intel that there could be more girls in the trafficker’s home a few kms away. We rescued two more victims in Raja’s home, so a total of 7 women were rescued from forced prostitution during the raid.
The police did not find Raja, the suspected trafficker, during the operation. Raja, his wife, his brother and two others had run away from the building after someone tipped them off about the raid. However, the Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) continued searching for Raja and the other suspects.
At 4 am, the police finished collecting evidence from both buildings and by 10:30 am, the initial reports were filed. At 3:00 pm we accompanied the seven victims for their medical check up at the government hospital. At 6:30 pm the victims went to the local court. After listening to the victims and recording their statements, the magistrate determined that the seven victims should be placed in a shelter home for their protection. Later that day we learned that the AHTU had found and taken trafficker Raja and the other four accused into police custody.
The next day, on October 8th, all the victims arrived at the shelter home. They are safe and will be repatriated back to Bangladesh.