DUBAI // A mother suspected of leaving her five children alone in a house with two housemaids for 10 months as she hid from creditors is to face charges of neglect.
The woman, an Emirati whose identity has not been disclosed, is thought to have been hiding from creditors to whom she owed debts of Dh800,000 while the maids cared for the three boys and two girls – aged between two and 10 years old.
The mother is thought to have paid occasional visits during which she would order the maids to lock the children in a room so they could not see her.
A friend of the woman noticed the children were unattended during an unannounced visit in June and told police when she was informed that the mother no longer lived there.
She was told the mother had last visited the house in March.
Dubai Police's General Department of Human Rights then visited the children and found them in poor condition.
Their investigation found that the mother had gained custody of the children after divorcing in 2009. She had promised to take care of the children while the father agreed to provide financial support.
The mother told police that she was facing financial problems and that her husband was not providing for them.
However, the father said that he had been paying the children's expenses as ordered by court, but added that he had filed a lawsuit to regain custody as he believed his wife was neglecting them.
Only two of the children were registered in school.
The department's director, Colonel Mohammed Al Murr, said that following their investigation the children had been placed with their father while authorities decided how to proceed.
On receiving the department's report, Dubai's Attorney General, Essam Al Humaidan, ordered that the woman to be charged with endangering the lives of juveniles.