Eighteen women, including 16 from Nepal, were rescued from the clutches of an international prostitution racket in the national capital, police said on Tuesday.
In a joint operation, the Varanasi Crime Branch and the Delhi Police on Monday raided a house under the Vasant Vihar police station area and rescued 18 women.
The police said the women were confined to the house for the past few days and were soon going to be trafficked to Gulf countries. They have detained three men for interrogation in this regard.
Delhi Commission For Women chief Swati Maliwal said the women would be transferred to shelter homes and the Nepal embassy was being contacted for their repatriation.
She said 68 passports were recovered from the place where the women were kept, out of which seven were Indian passports.
The Nepali women were lured with the promise of jobs and were first brought to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the police official said.
Two Nepalese women managed to escape from the clutches of the traffickers in the first week of July. They told the police in Nepal about the racket, who in turn contacted the Nepal embassy.
Based on the embassy's communique, the Varanasi police raided half-a-dozen locations in the temple town last week. They arrested a man identified as Jai Singh under the Shivpur police station limits.
During interrogation, Singh said a group of Nepali women were going to be trafficked to the middle-east. Based on the inputs of the two freed women and Singh's statement, the Varanasi Crime Branch undertook the operation with the Delhi Police.
The rescued women told the DCW chief that they belong to earthquake affected regions of Nepal.
"They informed that they are very poor and belong from the earthquake affected regions of Nepal. Most of them have lost their homes and families in the earthquake. They belong to the age group of 18 to 30 years," the DCW said in a statement.
"Delhi has become a hub of human trafficking. The DCW finds out about these rackets, police of other states finds them out but the Delhi Police continues to sleep. The Varanasi Police informed me that the house in Maidan garhi has been used for for trafficking women in batches for the past few years. How can the local police not know about the same?," Maliwal said.