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Friend forced woman into prostitution, UAE court hears

A woman brought to the country to work as a waitress was forced into prostitution by a friend who threatened to kill her family, a Abu Dhabi court heard.

ABU DHABI // A woman brought to the country to work as a waitress was forced into prostitution by a friend who threatened to kill her family, a court heard.

The Filipina told the Criminal Court that her compatriot and friend JK had arranged for her to come to the UAE to work as a waitress at a restaurant run by JK's boyfriend.

However, when she arrived at the airport her friend took her to a nightclub and told her she needed to go to one of the hotel rooms to have sex with a man who was waiting for her.

"I told her 'I am not a hooker, I don't do this'," said the Filipina. She said that in return for her sleeping with the man her friend would be paid Dh20,000.

When she refused her friend threatened to kill her children and family in the Philippines, so she agreed to have sex with the man while her friend sat in the room watching.

Afterwards, the man paid her friend the money.

She said she was then taken to a flat in Hamdan Street where her friend lived with another Filipina and a married couple, also from the Philippines. All of them lived in one room of a partitioned apartment.

Chief Justice Sayed Abdul Baseer asked whether she was locked inside the room and she replied that she was.

"You said there was a couple in your room and that other tenants were from the Philippines - why didn't you seek their help to rescue you from this evil lady?" asked the chief justice.

The woman started crying and said she barely saw them as they would leave for work early in the morning and return late in the evening.

The woman claimed that on another occasion she accompanied her friend to Spinneys supermarket and was ordered to go to a nearby flat and have sex with a man. She said that her friend gave her a mobile phone so that she could call her when she was finished.

"You had a mobile with you - you could have escaped or at least called the police from the mobile, so why didn't you?" asked the chief justice.

The woman started crying again, and said her friend threatened to use her influence to "cause problems" if she did not comply.

The friend denied her allegations. She said she had helped the woman come to the country to find a job and that she was supposed to pay her back for her airline ticket when she found employment.

"She was getting bored and started playing with my computer everyday. When I scolded her to stop she couldn't take it anymore and asked me to buy her a return ticket," said the friend.

The case was adjourned until 14 January.

hdajani@thenational.ae

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