Stuck in traffic
Peter de Souza & Preetu Nair
(The article appeared in GT Weekender, Panjim edition, January 29, 2006)
An National Human Rights Commission report conducted by the Institute of Social Sciences on trafficking of women and
children in India 2002-2003", reveals that Goa has the highest levels of trafficking of women and children compared to other states. Peter De Souza and Preetu Nair goes behind the statistics and zero's in on the men and women who add to the traffic on Goa 's sex highway. And it's piling up. Tragically there are no rules or committed policemen to even control, far less eradicate this jam that is ruining our land
Calangute/ Colva: Welcome to the kingdom. This is not quite the Alice in Wonderland and this story does not go through the rabbit hole but it sure does go through a hell hole, and there is no mad hatters tea party but surely a crazy sex party. This is not a fairy tale for children Coz there are no fairies or fairy
Godmothers, just trafficking women who pose as mothers.
And unlike Alice in Wonderland, where a rabbit leads Alice to the fascinating adventure, in Goa, you have characters like The Jackal, Sex and Hoyo who perform a medley of vice and torture, to take Goa to the top of charts in India s sex traffic map.
Trafficking has acquired grave dimensions in the state after Baina demolition (Red light area in Vasco demolished in 2004). The trafficker is no more a gharwali or brothel keeper and there is more sophistication,
complexity and consolidation of trafficking networks. Further, sex tourism has generated a high demand for virgin girls and young children.
Many tourists now demand young children, in view of the popular myth that sex with virgins can cure them of HIV and other serious diseases. Besides, it is reliably learnt that the pain that the children undergo during intercourse, gives the abuser the thrill. Sadly enough, though sex tourism and related trafficking of women and children is increasing, what is shocking is the response of the concerned agencies, which has adopted a lackadaisical attitude and shows no will to combat sex tourism.
Our investigations revealed that
organised crime of trafficking revolves around two master traffickers: Carlos, the Jackal in North Goa and Raju in South Goa . At the moment they are arch manipulators, chief profiteers, master criminals and the kingpin of the entire trafficking operations in the state. But they manage and modulate all activities and transactions in such a way that they remain unnoticed. Further, GT investigations reveal that to ensure that the trade goes on unhindered, they pay the police and politicians not only in cash but also in kind, which often includes allowing 'free sex' with the trafficked victims.
Meet the merchants of the human trade in Goa :
- Carlos, the Jackal, who hails from Pomburpa had escaped from judicial local-up at Margao somewhere in August. He has 150 cases of extortion and robbery at almost all police stations in Goa . And it is reliably learnt that he strengthened his flesh trade operations while in jail.
At the moment he is living and operating from a huge rented house in Ucassaim, which surrounded by thick forest. His modus operandi is simple: He purchases Lamani, Rajasthani children, children of rag pickers and even from as far as Orissa, Bihar and Tamil Nadu between the ages of eight and twelve for Rs 30,000 or even less through unscrupulous agents whom he had met in jail. These children are trafficked to Goa by a woman, who poses to be the child's mother, to escape the clutches of the law. Once in Goa , the children are handed over to Carlos's accomplice, a woman nicknamed Hoyo from Anjuna. Hoyo, a sex worker, supplies these kids to foreigners from Anjuna, Calangute and Sinquerim. These children are sent as a helping hand along with a woman (who claims to be their mother), who is also incidentally in the flesh trade, as a maid. The charge per child ranges from $ 1000 to
2000 a month. Younger the child, higher the price. But the child only gets mere Rs 2000 to 3000 for his services, while the fictitious mother gets Rs 5,000. Carlos and his gang members share the rest.
Our investigations reveal that in Calangute and Sinquerim alone there are at least forty rich and elderly foreigners who openly live with children and click pornographic pictures. Though Carlos is the most wanted criminal in Goa , he moves around freely on a Yamaha bikes, without any fear of the police or child activists.
- Raju's operations are almost similar to Carlos. But his earning per child is almost double than that of Carlos. Just like Carlos, Raju also purchases children between the age of eight and eleven from Tamil Nadu,
Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for Rs 30,000 or less and trafficks them to Goa through a fictitious mother. His main accomplice is not a woman; but a man, a shack owner in Colva nicknamed Sex. Sex's job is to provide bikes and young children to foreigners and he carries on with his trade without any hindrance, as his godfather is a top and controversial politician from South Goa .
While Raju hails from Tamil Nadu and stays in Colva- Betalbatim and looks after a foreigner's bungalow, Sex hails from Potwado, Colva. They also have an Italian partner, who runs a prominent Italian restaurant near the fish market in South, and has connection with rich foreign tourists along the entire beach belt in the South. Sex takes children in a large vehicle with tinted glasses to the Italian, who in turn supplies them to rich foreigners, including Europeans and Arabs.
When contacted Santosh Vaidya, Secretary, Women and Child said that he was not aware of these illegal operators. But he admitted that trafficking is a really a matter of concern. "That's why we had brought the Goa Children's Act which clearly defines trafficking. After the Act was introduced, there has been a check on
trafficking. But also a co-ordinated action is required from everyone," admitted Vaidya.
"We have not heard of them, not at least by these names. Illegal trafficking of girls and children for the flesh trade is not high in Goa . Delhi is way ahead of Goa . I talk about this from experience," added DIG Ujjwal Mishra.
Goa serves as a source, transit and destination where thousands of young girls and children are exploited day in and day out. Often, the actors in the trafficking network collaborate and protect each other. Just check out the types of prostitution phenomenon in Goa and the traffickers:
TYPES OF PROSTITUTION PHENOMENON IN GOA
- Brothel based prostitution: Baina & Margao
- Street based prostitution: Vasco, Margao, Colva, Panjim, Calangute, Anjuna
- Hotel based prostitution: All over Goa
- Vehicle based prostitution: North & South Goa tourist belt
- Brothel keepers previously operating in Baina
- Few pilots ( Two wheeler taxi) and taxi owners
- Few hotels and lodges in the tourist areas and on the highways - Karwar, Molem & Sawantwadi
It is generally believed that trafficking is driven by a demand for women's and children's bodies in the sex industry, fuelled by a supply of women and children denied equal rights and opportunities. But trafficking is not just limited to flesh trade. Check out the trafficking in its manifestations:
1. Trafficking for sex-based exploitation, i.e. for brothel based and non-brothel based commercial sexual exploitation,
pornography, paedophilia, sex tourism, mail-order bride system, disguised sexual abuse in the garb of massage parlours, beauty parlours, bartending, friendship clubs.
2. Trafficking for non-sex-based exploitation, including a vast area of servitude, slavery and exploitation, either as bonded or forced labour or using them as drug peddlers, for begging, giving in adoption, trading in human organs, trafficking for false marriages and other similar exploitative practices.
The study, "A report on trafficking of women and children in India 2002-2003", reveals that Goa has the highest levels of trafficking of women and children compared to other states. However, though inter-state trafficking is high, the intra-state trafficking is a minimal with only 0.6 percentage, just as in the case of Delhi .
The study commissioned by National Human Rights Commission was carried out with the support of UNIFEM and conducted by the Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) also confirms that trafficking, though not reported from many places, is happening almost everywhere.
Based on primary data collected through interviews of 4006 persons in 13 states and Union Territories , including victims, exploiters and perpetrators, the study encompasses major areas of trafficking. On one hand, the study confirmed that majority of trafficked persons are girl children and on the other hand it negated certain popular myths that the clientele who visit
the brothels or abuse trafficked girls are men who live away from their families and, therefore, look for options to satisfy their sexual urges.
"The exploitation of women and children takes place not only before trafficking, but also during trafficking and after trafficking. The rights of the trafficked persons are violated with impunity. They are subjected to physical and emotional harm from sexual assault to economic deprivation, and violation of human dignity," the study reveals.
What is shocking is that even the post-trafficking scenario finds the victim at the end of the tunnel, with almost no hope of survival. The victim is subjected to different types of conceivable and inconceivable acts of perversion and exploitation. Further, the law enforcement, in most places, violates the rights of victims as the common practice is to arrest, chargesheet, prosecute and convict the trafficked victims, the study confirmed.
"Even in Goa the target of action is not the traffickers but the trafficked victims. Statistics reveal that most of the offences booked under ITPA relates to sec 7 and 8 are against
trafficked victims and not against the traffickers. Trafficked victims are arrested but no customer, pimp, transport agent, lodge owner, hotel owner, taxi owner, etc are arrested, though the law is very clear that those who commercialize prostitution and those who benefit from the earning from prostitution are committing an offence", said Arun Pandey, ARZ, who conducted the study for ISS in Goa.
NAME: CARLOS, THE 'JACKAL'
Hails from : Pomburpa
Now lives in : Huge Rented House in Ucassaim,
Violation: 15O Cases of Extortion and Robbery
Traffic Operation: buys children from Rajasthan,
Orissa and Bihar for Rs 30,000 each who are trafficked to Goa by a woman posing as their mother
Preferred vehicle: Yamaha bike
Traffic partner: Hoyo, a woman
Name : HOYO
Lives in: Anjuna
Occupation: Sex worker cum Trafficker
Traffic operation: Supplies Children to foreigners from Anjuna, Calangute and Sinquerim. Children are sent with a woman (who claims to be their mother).
Traffic 'toll tax' to be paid by customers: $ 1000 to 2000 a month. Child gets a mere Rs 2000 and the "mother", Rs 5000
Hails from: Tamil Nadu
Now lives in: Colva-Betalbatim
Traffic operation: Buys children between the age of eight and eleven from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for Rs 30,000 or less and traffick's them to Goa through a fictitious mother
Traffic partner: A Shack owner called 'sex'. (Yes you read it right)
Hails from: Potwado, Colva
Traffic operation: Takes children in a large vehicle with tinted glasses to an Italian, who in turn supplies them to rich foreigners, including Europeans and Arabs.
Traffic partner: THE ITALIAN who runs a prominent Italian restaurant near a fish market in South Goa
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