The two girls had not come to Goa as tourists and worked for an escort service but became victims of gang-rape as the accused tried to recover money on behalf of one of their relatives, police said.

"The entire gang-rape was an attempt to recover money that was cheated by a third escort from a relative of one of the accused. Both the victims were not tourists but worked as escorts," Superintendent of Police (North), Umesh Gaonkar said.

Investigations revealed that a US-based cousin of one of the accused, Ajay Kumar Kusba, was cheated of Rs 1.50 lakh by an escort while he was in Goa in February this year and the group had planned to abduct the victims in a bid to recover that money, which subsequently led to the alleged gang-rape, police said.

"The girl after checking-in the hotel with the US-based man had ran away with his cash of Rs 1 lakh and an iphone. The entire kidnapping was an attempt to recover the money on behalf of a relative of accused Ajay Kumar Kusba, which subsequently led to the incident," Gaonkar said.

The five men were arrested after they allegedly kidnapped the two women by impersonating as policemen and raped them in a flat in Anjuna village on June 1.

The medical examination confirmed that the women were raped.

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