x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Human trafficking gang arrested in Dubai

Four men and a woman charged with illegal confinement and running a brothel.

DUBAI // A desperate text message to a friend overseas from a young Asian woman forced to work as a prostitute has led to the arrest of four men and a woman on human trafficking charges, prosecutors said yesterday. Police are hunting for three other women in connection with the case.

The gang was an organised crime unit that trafficked women for sexual exploitation, the Dubai Attorney General Essam Issa al Humaidan said. He ordered the four Asian men, the Asian woman and the three women on the run to be referred to the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance's third circuit, which handles exclusively human trafficking cases.

The woman who sent the text message told prosecutors that when she first arrived in Dubai she was taken from the airport to a flat in Naif, where she was told she would work for the Asian woman as a prostitute.

She said she was beaten when she refused to have sex and was told she would be paid after she covered the expenses of bringing her to the country.

She was taken to apartments across town for sex and repeatedly told that she would be handed over to the police if she refused to co-operate, she told prosecutors.

Eventually she sent a text message to a friend in her home country, who alerted authorities in Dubai.

The five under arrest were charged with human trafficking, illegal confinement, forceful solicitation of prostitution, threatening the victim and running a brothel, said Dubai Advocate General Khalifa bin Deemas, head of the human trafficking task force.

Prosecutors also charged the three missing women with facilitating prostitution, and ordered the Dubai Police criminal investigation division to find them.

A date for a first court hearing has not yet been set.

amustafa@thenational.ae