An elaborate prostitution racket allegedly orchestrated by an Indian man named Kishan Modugumudi and his wife Chandra was exposed by US federal authorities, as reported by Chicago Tribune. The couple have been accused of luring young actresses from Tollywood, advertising them for sex work across events in the US and allegedly charging clients upto $3000 for each sexual encounter.
The actresses were brought to the country on temporary visas and housed in a dingy apartment building. Modugumudi and his wife were arrested in April and have not been able to procure bail. Their two children have been shifted to a child welfare centre.
The Chicago Tribune reported on this case when a 42-page long criminal complaint was filed in US District Court in Chicago. The report reveals that Modugumudi is a businessman who has also co-produced several Telugu hit films.
The complaint also alleged that the couple threatened to harm one of the actresses and her family. Investigators discovered detailed ledgers of sexual acts performed by the women and the money earned maintained by Chandra along with more than 70 condoms divided into Ziplock bags, which were also reportedly found at the couple's residence.
The investigators also accessed the emails and text messages that the couple exchanged with the victims as well as clients.
This is not the first time actresses have been exploited in Tollywood. In April, actress Sri Reddy had protested against 'casting couch', the sexual exploitation and ill-treatment that many actresses including her had been subjected to by Telugu cinema industry figures in the name of getting them parts in films.
Soon after her protest, she was banned by the Movie Artists' Association, a move which was later withdrawn when the National Human Rights Commission took suo motu cognizance of her allegations. It also announced setting up a committee against sexual harrassment.