x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Gang who ran Dubai brothel sentenced to three years in jail

Three women and one man were found guilty of human trafficking and facilitating prostitution, while five others were jailed for working as prostitutes.

DUBAI // A gang has been jailed for running a brothel.

Three women and a man have been found guilty of human trafficking and facilitating prostitution but cleared of locking up one of their victims.

They were each sentenced to three years in prison yesterday.

Five of the prostitutes working willingly at the brothel were jailed for two years, while a woman accused of running the brothel was acquitted.

The 10, all from Uzbekistan, were put on trial after a woman forced to prostitute herself escaped and reported them to police.

The 37-year-old Uzbek victim told the Criminal Court how she had been lured to Dubai with the promise of a job as a saleswoman. She needed the money because her mother was ill and needed expensive hospital treatment.

The gang promised her a monthly salary of US$3,000 (Dh11,000) and said they would provide her with a visa and plane ticket.

She arrived at Sharjah Airport in March last year and was taken to an apartment in Al Nahda, given books and told to improve her English.

“They had me learn English for nearly two months then sent me to a nearby country so they could change my status from a visit visa to a work visa,” the victim said. Her passport was taken away from her.

When she returned to the UAE, the gang told her she owed them $40,000 in travel and visa costs and said she would have to work as a prostitute until she repaid them.

She refused but the gang beat her and threatened to kill her.

“They told me they would pay an assassin $500 to kill me,” she said.

Two of the gang talked openly about sending her to the desert for a week with a group of men who would rape and beat her until she had “learnt her lesson”.

After such threats she agreed to prostitute herself but vowed to escape at the earliest opportunity.

She contacted her mother and asked her to transfer $500 for air fare, telling her the job had fallen through and she had to go home.

She convinced one of the gang she had to meet a customer for sex at a Deira hotel and asked him to drive her there.

“At first he did not allow me out of the car but I pretended to be mad at him for stopping me from visiting a client and he finally let me go,” the woman said.

She waited inside the hotel lobby until the driver had left then took a taxi to the nearest police station.

She agreed to help in the arrest of the gang by luring the driver back to the hotel to pick her up.

Officers followed him as he took her back to the brothel then raided the premises.

The man A?T, 23, and the women S?R, 33; D?K, 30; and T?N, 23; were sentenced to three years in prison for human trafficking and facilitating prostitution, but acquitted of a locking up one of their victims.

O?S, 23; M?Y, 23; M?A, 23; N?K, 30; and S?S, 32; were each sent to prison for two years for prostitution.

D?A, 57, also from Uzbekistan, was acquitted of running a brothel.

All of those convicted will be deported after their prison terms.

salamir@thenational.ae