Indian police said Friday they had arrested a man suspected of duping 60 women into marrying him before later selling them into prostitution.

The 27-year-old suspect was arrested in a tea-growing district of the eastern state of West Bengal where he apparently charmed his victims over a five-year period by posing as a well-paid soldier in the Indian military.

“He used to pose as an army man who had come home on holiday and wanted to get married before returning to work,” district police chief Debendra Prasad Singh said. “He used to change bases frequently to lure girls from poor families in tea gardens and villages.”

Singh claimed the man, named as Vikky Biswarkarma, had married at least 60 girls and then sold them to brothels in Mumbai and Pune, cities in the western state of Maharastra, for 70,000-100,000 rupees ($1,500-$2,000).

Nine of his alleged victims have since been traced.

He was charged with several offenses, including human trafficking, Singh said.

The police were tipped off about Biswarkarma’s alleged crimes by a non-government organization in Darjeeling, a mountainous popular summer resort known for its idyllic tea plantations.

(news source