x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Girl worked as prostitute in Dubai to pay mother's medical bill, court hears

Three women and a man are accused of runniing a human trafficking ring.

DUBAI // A teenager came to Dubai to work as a prostitute so she could cover the medical expenses of her mother who was injured in a traffic accident, a court heard today.

The 19-year-old from Uzbekistan was told by another prostitute she could earn up to US$500 per day in Dubai, but would need first to pay a gang $10,000 for her visa and plane ticket. She did so and arrived in Dubai in April last year.

After working for a few weeks she told a friend in her home country whose mother needed open heart surgery that the business was profitable and urged her to come too. The friend, aged 23, arrived the following month.

A few months later, when the teenager wanted to celebrate paying off her $10,000 debt to the gang, she was told she had to pay Dh35,000. She refused and went to live with one of her customers. However, a month later she was kidnapped by one of her pimps who took her to the desert, beat her up and burnt her with a cigarette before taking her back to the brothel.

They showed her beaten body to her friend as a warning over what would happen to her if she too tried to run away.

Both women were freed after one of them told a customer of their plight and he informed police.

The flat was raided and three women and one man arrested. MA, 33, from Kyrgyzstan, PL, 41, from Uzbekistan, JS, 28, from Russia, and AM, 22, a stateless male, were all charged with human trafficking and related charges.

Only the man appeared in court and he denied the charges. The next hearing will be on May 9.

salamir@thenational.ae