x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Jail term upheld for man who lured widow into prostitution

Appeal court upholds prison sentence against man who lured widow away from India and forced her into prostitution in the UAE.

DUBAI // The Appeal Court has upheld a three-year jail sentence for a man who raped a widow and forced her into prostitution.

AS, a 20-year-old from India, and two other men who remain at large, lured the woman MF, 31, to the UAE from India by promising her a job as a maid. Instead, she was raped and forced to have sex with up to seven men daily.

The widow arrived in Dubai in August of last year to search for a job to support her two sons, but was unable to find one and returned to India. But at the end of February 2012 she received a call from someone offering her a job as a maid in Dubai for Dh800 a month.

She returned to the emirate on March 5 when she was met by AS and one of the other two men, who took her to a room in Naif that had been subdivided into smaller units. The following day they took her passport and locked her inside, leaving her with her mobile phone so she could call her sons.

AS then raped her and told her she would have to prostitute herself for three months or pay them 20,000 Indian rupees (Dh1,311) to cover her travel costs.

"They threatened to sell me off to some other people who exploit me more and would not let me go for at least five years," said the widow. For each man she slept with, AS received between Dh50 and Dh100.

The widow eventually told her family in India what had happened and they encouraged her to report it to police. On March 23, she called 999 after one of her clients advised her of the number.

Police raided the room three days later and arrested AS as he tried to escape from a window to the roof of the building. He told police he was recruited by one of the other men to work as a servant for a family in Al Ain, but passed the health check and took the job in the brothel instead.

The three men were charged with human trafficking, holding the woman hostage, and running a brothel. AS was sentenced to three years in prison by the Dubai Criminal Court last month.

He will be deported following his prison term.

salamir@thenational.ae