BEAUMONT, Texas — One of two doctors arrested in an October anti-human trafficking bust in Beaumont has been barred from practicing medicine.
The Texas Medical Board temporarily suspended Dr. Sadiq Ali's license without notice effective immediately Friday, Dec. 18, spokesperson Jarrett Schneider said in a news release.
The decision came after the board learned Beaumont Police arrested Dr. Ali and charged him with prostitution with someone under 18 years old, which is a second degree felony.
Ali, 33, was arrested along with 20 other men from Texas and Louisiana in an anti-human trafficking bust led by Beaumont Police and the Jefferson County District Attorney's office in October.
The state medical board's disciplinary panel determined that allowing him to continue practicing medicine would pose a threat to public welfare, TMB said in a statement.
"A temporary suspension hearing with notice will be held as soon as practicable with 10 days notice to Dr. Ali, unless the hearing is specifically waived," TMB said in the statement.
The temporary suspension will remain in place until the Texas Medical Board takes further action, Schneider said.
Another doctor, Dr. Rajen Bhulabhai Desai, 62, of Beaumont, was charged with prostitution, a class A misdemeanor. No information has been released as of Dec. 18 about whether or not his medical license will be suspended.
Beaumont Police and the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office worked together for a two-day joint operation in October, targeting what officials called "sex buyers," Officer Carol Riley said in a news release Oct. 24.
The 21 men arrested were charged with soliciting sexual relations from both minors and adults.
"Human trafficking is modern day slavery — the exploitation of men, women and children for forced labor or sex by a third party for profit or gain," Riley said in a statement. "A person doesn’t have to be transported across borders for trafficking to take place — it can occur anywhere."
Many victims of trafficking are children who are forced into prostitution are children, according to Riley. The operation's purpose was to reduce the demand and deter people from purchasing sex.
"Sex trafficking is fueled by the demand that these buyers provide," she said. "Without men who are willing to purchase sex, traffickers and pimps would not exploit victims."