Updated: Jul 8
Riya expected 2020 to be full of love and new opportunities. Her boyfriend Jaggu told her that there was a high paying job in India for her and also promised to marry her. They left Bangladesh, entered West Bengal and stayed overnight at a friend’s house. The next morning, their “friend” Bapi told Riya that they were leaving for Mumbai. Riya happily went along, trusting that Jaggu and Bapi had her best interests at heart. On January 1st, Bapi trafficked Riya and took her to Mumbai.
After arriving in Mumbai, Riya was sold for 60,000 Rupees (roughly 818 US Dollars) to Anil and his wife Tasima, brothel owners. Tasima introduced Riya to the other girls in the brothel and explained that she would also have to see customers. When Riya refused, she was beaten and forcefully initiated into the trade.
Riya's bed where she was forced to service customers
Riya managed to call her sister and tell her that she was being forced to work in a brothel. Then Anil, like many brothel owners, started manipulating Riya’s family. He called her parents and said he would return Riya only if they returned his 60,000 Rupees. If Riya’s parents did not pay, Anil threatened to hand her over to the police.
On August 16th, an NGO in Bangladesh called our team in Pune and told them about Riya. Freedom Firm immediately began searching for Riya.
September, 9 months later
After a month of investigation and careful planning, police partnered with the Freedom Firm team in Pune and raided Anil and Tasima’s brothel on September 18th. They found a customer in one room and Riya in another. Riya was terrified, but the police showed Riya pictures of her family to reassure her that they came to rescue her. Anil and Tasima were arrested and will be prosecuted.
Riya is living in a shelter home in Mumbai and waiting for her day in court. After she bravely testifies against Anil and Tasima, she will return to Bangladesh to be with her family. Your support makes both rescue and justice possible!
Almost 2 years later, Anil was convicted on May 5th, 2022. Read the update HERE.
Each raid costs $4,000. Please donate today to help rescue more girls!