Bengaluru has always been a safe abode. On the dark side, the demand for drugs and sexual services seems every increasing. Police say that the problem is reaching new dimensions, with an increase in the involvement of African nationals.
This report is based on information by the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Women and Narcotics wing, Central Crime Branch (CCB).
One of the officers told us that said places like Basanwadi, Hennur, Kammanahalli, Horamavu and HBR Layout was the focal point of such illegality. They requested homeowners to be alert before renting out their property.
"Person who approach them for rents or leases should be informed about the law of the land. And if they are discovered to be involved in such crimes, the police should be informed," the officer said.
Asianet Newsable further investigated the phenomenon by checking several pages on Facebook, where sexual services were being openly offered - with tag lines like 'African girls are the best!'
When Asianet Newsable contacted a few of numbers given on the pages, the results were shocking, though perhaps not surprising.
Speaking freely, many of the girls we spoke to admitted that they had come to the country via student and work visas, but either found no jobs or quickly dropped out of educational institutions. Offering sex for money proved to be a quick way to make a buck.
Brittany (the name given to the correspondent), a 21-year-old African national based in Hennur, Bengaluru East, said she does sex work to raise money for higher studies.
"I charge Rs 5,000 for my service. I am staying with my friends, and it is safe to invite customers at my place as there will not be any police raids," she said.
Similarly, Remy (again, the name given to the correspondent), another African national, said she wanted to study and chose to come to Bengaluru as many of her other friends have found this place 'safe'.
"Asking for money back home is tough. Hence it is easy for to take up sex work here in Bengaluru and get money in a few hours," she said.
When asked about crackdowns, ACP Siddalingappa pointed out a complex issue.
"As they are doing all this work within the four walls of their legal residence, they can blame police of trespass, and it will become a diplomatic issue if we randomly raid. Only if the public gives a complaint about such prostitution rackets, then we can do something firm," he said.