Hyderabad: Federal authorities in the United States have busted a sex racket allegedly involving some actresses of Telugu and Kannada film industries with the arrest of a Telugu couple Kishan Modugumudi alias Sreeraj Chennupati and his wife Chandrakala alias Vebha Jayam in Chicago.
The couple who earlier worked in Hyderabad as production managers in the Telugu film industry and had migrated to the US as businesspersons and were staying there illegally were arrested in April last and were in custody since. However, their involvement in the sex racket came to light after the US Homeland Security Investigation authorities filed a chargesheet against them in the District Court of Illinois Eastern Division. The case caught the attention of people back home after the Chicago media reported it extensively.
According to reports, the couple used to invite actresses for various cultural and linguistic conferences and events and then force them into commercial sex with clients charging upto $3000 (Dh11,000) per client.
Hotels in Dallas, New Jersey and Washington were used for the nefarious activities. The couple also used to threaten the actresses against revealing the matter to anybody in the US or in India.
As recently as two days ago US authorities stopped some actresses from Tollywood at the Chicago airport as their contact numbers were found in Kishan’s mobile phone.
During investigations, the US authorities also recovered registers and ledgers with the names of the girls and record of each and every client they served and the timing and dates of such encounters. They also recovered the mobile records of messages exchanged between the couple and the prospective clients during which the couple had also sent them photos of the girls.
So far the authorities have identified five actresses linked to the racket, but their names have not been revealed.
The actresses, invited to US on the pretext of attending events were forced to stay in dingy two-storied apartments in the Belmont Cragin area of Chicago.
The reports from US have rattled Tollywood which was recently shaken by allegations by an upcoming actress Sri Reddy that aspiring actresses were being subjected to sexual exploitation in the industry.
Reacting to the latest incident, Movie Artists Association President Shivaji Raja has advised members of the industry to only attend events abroad after checking with the MAA.