The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested four alleged members of a human trafficking gang, including a mastermind, from different parts in the country.
The elite force tracked down the four while they were on the hunt for trafficking networks after video footage of brutal tortures and sexual assaults of a Bangladesh girl in India went viral.
The ring had a link with Hridoy Babu, known as TikTok Hridoy, who is now in Indian police custody for the assault incident, said RAB media wing director lieutenant colonel Khandaker Al Moin.
Hridoy was approached by the gang two years ago and with the gang's help, he trafficked over 50 girls to India, he also said.
The RAB arrested the alleged trafficking ringleader Ashraful Islam alias Boss Rafi, his associates – Shahida Begum, Abdur Rahman Sheikh, and Ismail Sarder from Jashore and Jhenidah in separate raids on Monday and Tuesday.
The RAB officer said Ashraful has established networks mostly in the country's southern parts.
The trafficking racket has over 50 members from Bangladesh and India. Ashraful has been operating the ring for eight years. So far, he has trafficked over 500 girls to India and forced them into prostitution or sold there, the RAB officer added.
He said the gang usually takes girls to India in illegal ways with promises of providing them well-paid jobs. During their stay in India, the victims are tortured and sexually assaulted. The ring also makes their MMS clips.
They use photos and videos to blackmail the girls into joining the sex trade.
A recent video clip of sexual assault on a girl in India, which went viral on social media, has created outcry and police have confirmed the victim's identity and that one of the traffickers is Bangladeshi.
Police said the girl, aged around 24, was trafficked to India from Dhaka and forced to be a sex worker.
Indian police said they had arrested five youths over the incident, who are from Bangladesh.
The victim's father filed a case with Hatirjheel Police Station over the human trafficking incident
The RAB media wing director said they have talked with some India returnee victims and got a tip-off about the trafficking ring from them.
RAB officials said that using the TikTok platform as a tool for trafficking is a new phenomenon.
TikTok Hridoy has been operating online groups and has his fan-base. He was approached by Ashraf two years ago for trafficking girls. Hridoy then started using his group to lure young girls into India.
The girl, who was seen being torture in the viral video, was trafficked to India last October.
There are houses of the ring in Bangladesh's bordering districts and India's Bengaluru where the girls are kept, tortured and sexually assaulted.