Eleven arrested for being suspected members of a gang that lured girls and women to the Indian sex trade using the social media platform.
At least 11 people have been arrested on suspicion of being members of a trafficking gang in Bangladesh that lured women and women to the sex trade near India using the social platform TikTok, Dhaka police said.
The alleged leader of the Rafizul Islam Ridoy gang – nicknamed TikTok Ridoy – “will attract TikTok girls and other social media groups, promising to make TikTok models,” the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) paramilitary unit said on Tuesday. ) of Bangladesh.
But the victims were instead smuggled into southern India and forced into sex work, according to a RAB statement.
The arrests came after footage of an alleged sexual assault of a Bangladeshi woman went viral on social media in late May, prompting an investigation into the gang, the RAB said.
The suspects were all detained last week.
The latest arrests came on Monday when two men were detained in a southwestern border district in Bangladesh for allegedly trafficking women and women between the ages of 17 and 22, said Dhaka police deputy commissioner Mohammad Shahidullah.
“One of them told us that he sent 1000 people to India,” Shahidullah told AFP news agency.
A total of nine people have been arrested in Bangladesh and two others in the Indian 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 had also been arrested and charged with rape or incitement to the alleged sexual assault shown in the video.
Another person arrested late Tuesday had not yet been questioned, he added.
All were citizens of Bangladesh, police in both countries said.
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, such gangs were born to attract teenagers from low-income families.
They will be invited to pool parties, star in TikTok videos and “sell well-paid salary dreams in call centers, sales and service centers,” he added.