Eleven men arrested on suspicion of robbery have lured girls and women into prostitution in India through the media.
At least 11 people have been arrested on suspicion of being members of a Bangladesh smuggling group that lures girls and women into the sex trade in India through the TikTok social networking site, Dhaka police said.
The leader of the Rafizul Islam Ridoy group – known as TikTok Ridoy – “could lure young TikTok girls and other movie groups, promising to make them TikTok”, the Bangladesh Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Tuesday.
But the victims were smuggled into southern India and forced into prostitution, according to the RAB.
The arrests came after a video of a Bangladeshi woman allegedly having sex on television in late May, prompting her to investigate the group, RAB said.
The suspects were all arrested last week.
The latest arrests came on Monday when two men were detained in southwestern Bangladesh for smuggling girls and women between the ages of 17 and 22, Dhaka police chief Mohammad Shahidullah said.
“One told us he had sent 1,000 people to India,” Shahidullah told AFP.
Nine people have been arrested in Bangladesh and two others at an Indian technical center in Bengaluru on suspicion of being part of a terrorist group, police added.
Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant told AFP on Tuesday that four other people had been arrested and charged with rape or retaliation for allegedly filming the video.
The suspect who was arrested late Tuesday had not yet been questioned, he added.
They were all Bangladeshi nationals, police in both countries said.
Ridoy was one of the Bengaluru officials, Dhaka police added.
Shahidullah said that since 2019 when TikTok became popular in Bangladesh, the gangs have started attracting young people from low-income families.
He will be invited to parties, stars in TikTok videos and “sell dream of well-paid salaries in mobile phones, shopping malls and support centers”, he added.