“I think this is a set up” was the last text message the Child Rescue operative received from the pimp they had been tracking down for a long time. Numerous past cases linked back to this one pimp, establishing him as the head of a deeply-rooted syndicate.
His innate charisma landed him as the alpha of the pack. Unintentionally influencing his circle of friends, his network of pimps grew far and wide – with Corso* sitting at the top of the pecking order. When he and two of ‘his girls’ had gone viral on social media, while his pimping was in full operation, it was a blatant display of his bravado. His business is a show that he felt no need to hide.
Tipped off by one of the victims that escaped a previous raid operation, Corso hastily cancelled the meet-up that was meant to happen later that day. Child Rescue and our partner law enforcement agency knew they couldn’t let him slip away without giving it every effort – not while knowing how many girls he controlled and exploited each night and the lengths to which he went to keep them in line.
The team had been warming up another pimp from Corso’s network, Sam*. With little time to spare, a case from the backburner was now their key to getting closer to pinning the head down. Capturing this secondary pimp was easy; she wasn’t as experienced nor suspicious. But unlike most subjects in custody, she wasn’t in denial. Choking in her tears, all she could say was, “Corso made me do this. Corso taught me how to do this.”
Sam needed vindication – if she was going down, he would go down with her. This was the motivation she needed to cooperate with law enforcement. Under the strict supervision of the police, she was handed back her phone for one last task. She needed to convince Corso to show up.
Teams knew the general area of his operations, but not his exact location. Tucked in a labyrinth of narrow alleyways within a neighbourhood infamous for drug dens and illegal arms trade, Corso was impossible to catch. As options and hope ran thin, they slowly realised that this could be where the trail went cold.
Amid the exasperated conversation between Child Rescue and the police, a social worker from the Department of Social Welfare heard a voice from the back of the van – it was one of the survivors. “I could show you where Corso lives.”
"I could show you where Corso lives."
The team weighed out the risks. Is she telling the truth? Could this be a trap? When the survivor shared with the social worker how Corso has made her life a living hell, publicly humiliating her if she would dare to defy his demands, the team decided the plan was worth the risk. A 15-year old rescued girl now sat shotgun giving directions, leading the team to Corso’s hideout.
The covert vehicles slowed down as they approached the narrow alleyway that led to Corso’s den. The brave survivor gave the team directions, warning them to keep their eyes peeled for lookouts peeking from the dilapidated buildings above. The team calculated each step until they reached the target location. After she verified his location, teams relocated her to safety, away from the area, before moving in. Upon entry, they apprehended him, smoking marijuana and dispensing drugs to a roomful of girls.
Tense shoulders relaxed, and the operative’s stress faded once the police finally had Corso in handcuffs. The social workers escorted the survivors, weaving through a crowd of onlookers gathering by the scene. Eleven girls, all of whom were minors, were rescued that night. While Corso’s network continues to operate, arresting the head of this syndicate has put out a message that Child Rescue will stop at nothing to bring justice to the victims of human sexual exploitation.
*Names have been changed
Rescue remains relentless! Children are still being exploited and abused during this global pandemic. Even though it is more difficult now than it has ever been, we will continue to rescue children from this darkness. You can make the next rescue possible. Become a Rescue Partner today.