A Chicago-based couple of Indian descent has been arrested for running a high-end racket that was luring women actors from the Telugu film industry, aka Tollywood, and involving them in sex work at events across the United States. The expose followed the arrest of 34-year-old kingpin Kishan Modugumudi alias Sreeraj Chennupati and his wife Chandrakala by US federal agents in Chicago. Sreeraj worked as a production manager in Tollywood before running a flesh trade in the garb of Telugu meets abroad.
According to Times of India, it has now come to light that two of the five trafficking victims mentioned in the criminal complaint at Homeland Security Investigations in United States district court of North District of Illinois Eastern Division, happen to be well-known actors from Bengaluru and Chennai.
Actor Sri Reddy, who has brought the topic of casting couch back in conversation in the last few months, said that the couple had approached her too.
Usually when artists fail to get offers, they go to the US and are lured into prostitution. Artists are paid over $1,000, depending on their popularity.Sri Reddy, Actor
The alleged racket was exposed when a small-time actor - referred to as the main victim in the case - was brought to America on the pretext of taking part in a show. The investigators arrested the couple after the victim wrote to them asking for help.
According to The News Minute, the charges reveal that at least four actors were forced to stay in dingy apartments, with 'clients' being charged up to $3000 for sexual favours. The investigations have revealed that Chandra allegedly kept detailed ledgers of the sexual acts performed by each actor along with the money involved.
The Movie Artists Association would reportedly hold a meeting on 24 June to discuss the issue.