x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Girl, 16, forced into prostitution

Man denies raping a woman who allegedly helped him run a brothel, telling a court they are married.

DUBAI // A 16-year-old girl was forced into prostitution after being lured to the country with the promise of a maid's job, a court heard today.

SA, from Pakistan, said she had been brought to Dubai by her 40-year-old compatriot MTS four times on visit visas to find a maid's job and that each time she failed to do so she returned to her home country. When she tried for the fifth time her father initially refused to allow her to go, but she begged him to let her because they were desperate for money.

When she arrived she was taken to the man's apartment in Hor Al Anz where six other girls were also staying. She said that she was then beaten up by the man and a woman referred to as MTM and told she would have to work as a prostitute.

"I worked for about 10 months then I told a customer that I lost my passport. He gave me the police's emergency number to report the missing passport," said the girl, adding that she told officers she was being forced to have sex for money.

Shortly after her call, police raided the apartment on February 20 and arrested the man and woman.

MTS and MTM face charges of human trafficking and of running a brothel, while MTS also faces a charge of raping MTM, and MTM, 24, faces a charge of prostitution. They denied all charges.

MTS said that MTM was his wife and that the 16-year-old SA had been working willingly as a prostitute. He claimed her father knew what she did for a living.

The date of the next hearing is yet to be determined. The court will listen to the girl's testimony in private.

salamir@thenational.ae