x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Girl who came to Dubai to work as tailor forced into prostitution

A 17-year-old who got her family to mortgage their house so she could come to UAE to work as a tailor was forced into prostitution instead, court hears.

DUBAI // A 17-year-old girl whose family mortgaged their house so she could come to Dubai to work as a tailor was kidnapped and forced into prostitution instead, the Criminal Court heard today.

The girl told prosecutors the money was used to cover her visa and travel expenses after she was promised the job in a Dubai factory. She arrived in the emirate in November and was met at the airport by a man identified only as R. He took her to an apartment and beat her unconscious after she refused to work as a prostitute.

"I woke up the next morning naked and knew I had been raped," she said.

Prosecutors said that two Indian labourers, MS, 27, and RA, 28, moved her from one apartment to another where she saw other girls who had also been locked up and forced into prostitution.

"The girls told me to give up my resistance and work as a prostitute," the girl told the prosecution.

She then started having sex with up to five customers a day, but one customer would not have sex with her after hearing her story.

"The Indian man would chose me from among all girls then sit with me for an hour without having sex with me," she told prosecutors.

He promised to help her contact police, though it was six months before he informed police about the apartment.

Police raided the brothel and arrested the two labourers and their compatriot, ZM, 36, who was the building's watchman and would often fix the brothel's air conditioners.

According to court records, the human trafficking gang in charge of the brothel also comprised a number of other unidentified men.

WM, a major with Dubai Police, said an informant tipped officers off about the apartment in Naif near to Maktoum Hospital.

An undercover police corporal then pretended to be a customer, paying Dh150 to enter the apartment, before signalling to officers to launch a raid. After the raid the watchman informed the police of a further two apartments being used as brothels.

The undercover officer, a 40-year-old corporal, said he had chosen the girl from among many others and that he was taken to a small room where he was supposed to have sex with her. Instead he talked to her about her working conditions.

"She told me she was not allowed to go out or make calls, she also said she was waiting for the chance to run away," said the corporal.

The two labourers were charged with human trafficking and running a brothel. The watchman was charged with aiding and abetting. They denied all charges.

The alleged rapist, R, was not apprehended, and no rape charges were brought.

The next hearing was scheduled for October 10.

salamir@thenational.ae