May 10th, 2018 Posted In: Crime

Team TNV

Team TNV

Margao town has earned its title for being the commercial capital of the Goa state. The commerce now is not restricted to the Gandhi Market and new Market which it was earlier, but now there are multinational companies and brands that have entered the Margao town till the furthest borders of the town. This has increased the importance of the town to a great extent. To add up, Margao also has the biggest tourist influx in the form of the Coastal villages and also the Konkan Railway Station as well as the Margao bus stand. This amount of commercialization and tourism together has become a recipe for flesh trade, sex trade or prostitution. Several sex rackets have become operational not just in Margao town but in the adjoining Colva, Benaulim and in the urban commercial areas. Prostitution had been in pockets of the town in the past and was raided and stopped as and when there is information. However, now this trade has got sophisticated and the internet based escort service has replaced the prostitution in Margao.

The town has earned its name as Mathgram because of the legacies of Hari mandir, Damodar Devasthan, Pimpalkatta and so many others. So much so that the world famous Zambaulim Gulalotsav doesn’t begin until the sacred coconut is not offered to the lord from Margao. However, it is now sad to see that this Madgao is now being listed as a hotspot of escort services. “Staying in Margao? Want to enjoy for a night? Call this number, girls/women will be at your door step for service”. These are the kind of phrases that are being used to promote sex trade on internet in the town.

On one hand the Margao town police are raiding havens and dealers every month and arresting such illicit trade. However, on the other hand the trade goes on increasing 4 fold on the Internet and there is the name of Margao being used openly.

One of the escort’s services named Natalia has gone to the extent of uploading photos of women who they supply for sex trade and have a section of College girls for prostitution. The Police are in a fix due to such websites. One of the police officials candidly disclosed that these websites may not even exist on ground. “Some people are using internet sites to earn money by cheating people through prostitution offers” said the officer.

The escort service site Natalia D’Souza has extensive information regarding Goa and information of Margao has also been published. They have vehemently used the image of the historic Margao Municipality building. “Enjoy the Margao town during the day and have fun in the night” is the message this website gives to the tourists coming to the town. The information may be of Margao but the photos of the girls supplied for prostitution and the addresses mentioned in here are of women from Mumbai, Delhi. To get entire details there is a compulsion to login as a user and one needs to pay minimum charges beginning from thousands for the membership. This entire trade has been operated online and there is no clarity on who and where is the person controlling this business.

“The people who have some idea of this syndicate informs that these websites are being operated from other states and the local hotels are cooperating with their trade. These hotels are the medium of the business”, they said.

The website ‘Goa Escorts’ has mentioned of supplying Russian, British, Spanish women which also include women from Delhi, Mumbai, models, and also actresses from Bollywood and Tollywood are up for grabs on these escort sites. Even the names of major hotels and lodges have been mentioned in these websites. A citizen from Margao who is also a social worker had decided to file a complaint against these websites for which he paid nearly Rs.12 thousand and registered on the site. He informed that after he paid the money there has been no response from the site and they have been only sending nude pictures of models to him since then. He has decided to go ahead to the root of this and is soon going to file a police complaint regarding this matter.

The Convenor of the NGO Savera Ms.Tara Kerkar said, “The escort service websites are wreaking havoc on the internet. The youngsters of the state are getting enticed and in trouble in this trade. There is an escort service in the major towns and tourist attraction places of Goa. These escort services which had been in towns and cities have now penetrated into the rural village levels. This has lowered the level of the state image” said Tara. The NGO also warned that if the Home Ministry and the department don’t take the matter seriously Goa will face international shame on the Porn websites.

The Colva Panch Menino Fernandes while speaking on this issue said several women are brought to Goa on the borders of Margao town to work in Massage Parlors and are pushed in to prostitution. “Even after several raids these massage parlors function in full swing like normal. After a woman is rescued and taken to Apna Ghar for rehabilitation she is released back. However, these women again go back to the same illicit trade. No one keeps an eye on this, no one takes action” Menino said. There are women who are being brought from other states and neighbouring countries and are directly introduced to this trade. There are some establishments in Colva which are famous for that. The surprising part is Goans are not allowed inside here fearing action but non-Goans and tourists get entry on prior bookings.

College student Diptesh Shirodkar has urged the Goa Police and Government to act in these matters with an iron fist as he fears that this will someday create a problem for Goans dignified living in their own state.

The Governor of Goa Hon. Smt. Mridula Sinha had convened a high level meeting of Chief Secretary Govt. of Goa, Director General of Police, Vice Chancellor & Registrar of Goa University, Secretary Information Technology, Director Women & Child Development and Arun Pandey of ARZ (Anyay Rahit Zindagi) recently after the Goa Women Forum had filed a complaint to her regarding escort service websites promoting Sex Tourism in Goa.

TheGWF had written to the Goa Governor Smt. Mridula Sinha on 22nd February seeking her intervention overthe inaction of the Goa Government agencies against the escort service websites promoting Sex Tourism in Goa.

GWF had also appealed to Smt. Mridula Sinha as Chancellor of Goa University to take a bold decision and make the Goa Government to do all that is required in law to shut down these escort service websites which are openly promoting sex tourism in Goa by portraying Goa University & college girl students as call girls.

Escort service websites which are selling prostitution services are offering College Girls & Housewives and educational institutions like the Goa University in their promotion of call girl services.

The GWF has claimed that the situation has reached such proportions that the Escort service websites are selling sex services by offering College Girls & Housewives and have not even spared religious places as now one Escort service website is shown to provide call girls from the Basilica of Bom Jesus.

The Goa Women’s Forum also opines that such a situation prevails in the State of Goa only due to the lethargic attitude of the various Government agencies such as the Department of Tourism, Department of Women & Child Development and Goa Police over the last 30 years although the warning signals were given during the protest against the Tourism Master Plan in 1987.

The GWF pointed out that unless business & trade bodies like the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) and the Shack Owners Welfare Society of Goa (SOWS) take a bold and uncompromising stand against the promotion of Sex Tourism in Goa, the plan to promote Goa as a family tourist destination will be devastated.

In 2017, the Margao town police busted at least 7 to 8 cases of online prostitution and sex racket and 2018 this year already the number has reached to 3 cases till date. Will there be a stricter vigil on these crimes is what the people of Margao and Goa are now concerned about.


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About Author

Team TNV

The author is a senior Journalist working in Goa for last one and half decade with the experience of covering wide-scale issues ranging from entertainment to politics and defense.

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