x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Brave 15-year-old girl helps Dubai police snare sex trafficking ring

A 15-year-old girl who was taken from her home country and forced to work as a prostitute has been rescued by police and helped them arrest five alleged members of the gang that brought her to the UAE.

Brigadier Khalil Al Mansouri, the head of CID at Dubai police revealed how the girl, 15, took part in the sting operation on the gang which allgedly forced her to work as a prostitute.
Brigadier Khalil Al Mansouri, the head of CID at Dubai police revealed how the girl, 15, took part in the sting operation on the gang which allgedly forced her to work as a prostitute.

DUBAI // A 15-year-old girl who was taken from her home country and forced to work as a prostitute has been rescued by police and helped them arrest five alleged members of the gang that brought her to the UAE.

The girl, S?M, told Dubai police that she had been brought to the UAE from an undisclosed Asian country at the end of July by a woman, F?M.

Brigadier Khalil Al Mansouri, the head of CID at Dubai police, said:  “We received reliable information that the network was operating here and had recently trafficked a girl into the country, so we opened an investigation.”

By the end of August, police were able to track down the girl and she was brought in for questioning.

“We stopped the girl while she was going back from an assignment and talked to her,” said CID officer Col Salem Al Rumaithi.

Police said the girl was from a poor family.

“Her family were dreaming of a better future and they were deceived by this gang with the help of some money and empty promises,” said Brig Al Mansouri.

F?M used a forged passport in which the girl’s name and age were changed to secure her a visa into the UAE.

“They changed her age from 15 to 22 and used the same name as F?M on the forged passport,” said Brig Al Mansouri.

After speaking to CID officers, S?M agreed to take part in a sting operation.

The gang, led by F?M, included four men who looked after the running of several brothels across the country, according to police. All five were from the same Asian country as the 15-year-old.

Police formed a task force and at the end of August an undercover officer posed as a wealthy customer who offered to pay a large amount of money to take S?M home with him for three days because she was young.

F?M agreed to the deal but said she wanted all the money paid in advance.

They met in Deira and she was arrested as soon as the money changed hands.

Following her arrest, F?M led police to the gang’s base where they arrested two other men as well as another woman for willingly engaging in prostitution.

“While searching the house we found money transfer receipts and booklets to register the revenues raised from prostitution,” said Colonel Abdul Al Rahim bin Shafi’a, head of the organised crime department.

And a few days later, in the first week of September, police arrested two other men who are believed to be part of the same ring.

The case has been referred to public prosecution.

It is not clear where S?M is now, however victims of trafficking are usually referred to a women’s shelter where they receive counselling and support while awaiting the trial of their captors.

wissa@thenational.ae