Sobha John, who was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment in the sensational Varappuzha sex racket case, is not just a person who ran a brothel. Her history is even more exciting than a thriller movie. 

Sobha was the first woman from Kerala to get arrested under Goonda Act, currently called the Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act (KAAPA). She has been named accused in various cases involving murder, flesh trade, crimes committed by blade mafia, conspiracy etc. 

Like any other common girl Sobha, a native of Neyyattinkara, Thiruvananthapuram, was a girl who was loved by her relatives and neighbours. She got married at a young age and the next news people heard about her was that Sobha was arrested in a sex racket case. After this incident, Sobha kept a distance from her relatives and even family members. 

There are reports that after marriage Shobha started lending money at a higher interest rate to local people. It was to escape from the threat faced from others engaged in the same trade that Sobha approached local goons. In no time she became their leader. 

The first case in which Sobha John was named accused was the controversy in which Sabarimala Tantri Kandararu Mohanaru was involved. The incident took place on July 23, 2006. The case was that Sobha and her gang members conspired to bring the Tantri to her apartment in Kochi and at knifepoint forced him to pose with another naked woman.

They also threatened him at gunpoint to part with gold ornaments and took photographs of him and the woman in compromising positions. They were also alleged to have tried to extort ₹30 lakh from the Tantri. 

It was on October 5, 2011, that Sobha and her main aid Bachu Rahman got arrested in Varappuzha sex racket case. The incident came to light after a minor girl and  Jayarajan Nair, a retired colonel, was arrested from a rented house in Varappuzha on August 4 for immoral activities.

Later it was found that the girl was a minor and Sobha had purchased her for ₹1 lakh from her parents. During the probe girl's parents gave the statement that Sobha had taken the girl to many places including Kasargod and Bengaluru. The minor girl, in her statement to the magistrate, said that she was abused by more than 100 persons. 

As many as 32 cases were registered in the incident, and there were 80 accused, of which 72 were arrested. One accused, Binil Kumar, died during trial period while court acquited five accused. 

The police have so far submitted the chargesheet in 24 cases, and the trial has been completed in five cases. Ernakulam Additional Sessions Court has pronounced judgments in one of the cases.