Rashmikant Patel of Georgia amongst four indicted.
By The American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: A sordid tale of women dancers from India promised jobs in New York City, but forced to becoming strippers in night clubs, and thrown into prostitution has come to light with the arrest and indictment of four individuals, including a Pakistani American psychiatrist from Houston, Texas, Riyaz Mazcuri. Amongst the arrested is at least one Indian American, Rashmikant Patel, from Savannah, Georgia.
The other two men named in the alleged scheme were Sabja Khimani, of Queens, New York; and a Sugar Land, Texas resident, Mehmood Hassanali Dhanani, also known as “Sam,” reported the Houston Chronicle.
Details were forthcoming on the background of Patel, and who amongst the four made contact with the girls and tricked them into coming to the US. Details were also forthcoming on the other two men accused in the scheme.
Mazcuri, 52, whose nick-name is “The Doctor,” and the other three men were charged with forced labor conspiracy and visa fraud conspiracy, according to federal court records. Mazcuri was released on $300,000 bail, the Chronicle reported. He is scheduled to appear August 1 at the U.S. District Courthouse in New York.
According to the indictment issued by a federal grand jury in New York, the men hired female dancers in India and brought them to the US under the false pretense that they would perform Indian cultural programs.
Once the women arrived, they instead were forced to dance in night clubs for 12 to 14 hours per night, seven nights per week, and some were pressured into prostitution, the indictment states. One night club was in New York and one was in Houston.
According to the Texas Medical Board registry, Mazcuri graduated in 1978 from Dow Medical College at the University of Karachi in Karachi, Pakistan. His medical license is active and he has no license restrictions. He lists hospital privileges with Bellaire Behavioral Hospital in Houston.
Mazcuri at one time co-owned a night club with Khimani and Dhanani, according to court records, the Chronicle report said.
The defendants confiscated the women’s passports and kept them confined in houses and hotel rooms when they weren’t performing, court records state. The alleged scheme, perpetrated through force and the threat of force, took place between 2008 and 2010. It was not reported as to how the women came out of the clutches of the men and what their status is now.