Eleven were arrested on suspicion of gang members who seduced girls and sexually abused women in India using a social media platform.
At least 11 people have been arrested on suspicion of being members of a Bangladeshi trafficking gang that seduced girls and women into sex trafficking in neighboring India using the TikTok social media platform, Dhaka police said.
The gang’s alleged ringleader, Rafizul Islam Ridoy, nicknamed TikTok Ridoy, “will seduce young girls on other TikTok և social media groups by promising to make them TikTok models,” the Bangladesh Rapid Reaction Squadron (RAB) said on Tuesday.
Instead, the victims were smuggled to southern India and forced into sex work, the RAB said in a statement.
The arrests came after videos of a alleged sexual assault of a Bangladeshi woman went viral on social media in late May, prompting a criminal investigation, the RAB reported.
The suspects have all been arrested in the past week.
The latest arrests came on Monday, when two men were detained in Bangladesh’s southwestern border on charges of trafficking girls and women aged 17 to 22.
“One of them told us that he had sent 1,000 people to India,” Shahidullah told AFP.
A total of nine people have been arrested in Bangladesh and two more at the Bengaluru Technology Center in India for allegedly being part of a trafficking gang, police said.
Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant told AFP on Tuesday that four other people had also been arrested on charges of raping or prosecuting the alleged sexual harassment shown in the video.
The extra person arrested late Tuesday night had yet to be questioned, he added.
Police in both countries said all were Bangladeshi nationals.
Rido was one of the detainees of the Bengaluru authorities, Dhaka police added.
Shahidullah said that since 2019, when TikTok became popular in Bangladesh, such groups have emerged to attract young people from low-income families.
They would be invited to parties, filmed on TikTok videos, “sell dreams of well-paid salaries in call centers, sales and service centers,” he added.