to Goa: the paedophile path
is the paedophiles’ gateway to India, report VK Shashikumar,
Mayabhushan Nagvenkar and Sanjukta Sharma
is choc-a-bloc with white tourists on any evening. It is the heart of Colaba
Causeway, south Mumbai’s notorious hub of cheap beer, cheap hotel
rooms and discreet drug peddlers. Every now and then, middle-aged, hippie-looking
men drink at this pub, accompanied by young boys from the pavements of Colaba.
Often, they are children of daily-wage labourers from Maharashtra, Karnataka
and Andhra Pradesh. Those who make it to the Mondegar tables with white
men are the chosen ones — the boys who are lured by the gifts, the
drinks. Middle-aged white paedophiles stalk Colaba streets. Or other numerous
streets and suburbs of Mumbai where child sex tourists thrive with blissful
anonymity before they move on to even safer destinations.
SHOP: this is where the paedophiles meet their potential victims
On December 16, 2000, Swiss nationals Wilheim Marty, 61, and Loshiar Marty,
58 were caught red-handed filming two girls inside a room in Hotel Resort
at Madh Island. Hundreds of photographs of nude children were found on Marti’s
laptop. A list of nearly 40 children the couple was planning to film was
Police probe revealed Wilheim Marty worked as a general manager in a Swiss
company. His wife was a trained nurse. The couple had a 35-year-old adopted
daughter. The Martys had been visiting Mumbai for nearly 10 years. The police
established contact with the Swiss police through Interpol and raided Marty’s
properties, leading to further evidence of pornographic material and the
arrest of Wilheim Marty’s nephew, who helped the couple sell the photographs
on the Internet.
The modus operandi of the Marty couple was to pose as tourists and convince
poor families that since Indian laws did not allow them to adopt, they would
be happy to spend time with street children. The Forum Against Child Sexual
(facse), a Mumbai-based ngo, got to know from a child that the Martys had
taken two children to a hotel and alerted the police.
The police arrested the Martys under 11 sections of the Indian Penal Code
and Section (4) (6) of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition)
Act of 1986. The Mumbai sessions court judge, Justice MR Bhatkar, sentenced
them to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment in March 2003.
But a month later, the Bombay High Court shortened the sentence of the couple
to the period they had already served in jail — 39 months —
and allowed them to go if they paid a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to
their six victims.
Children’s rights activists demanded the Supreme Court’s intervention.
Chief Justice VN Khare of the Supreme Court stayed the release of the couple
in April 2004, but granted them conditional bail with directions that the
Martys’ passports be withheld.
August 21, 2004
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