x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Job hopeful forced into prostitution was assaulted by 'rescuers', court told

A Bangladeshi woman who came to the UAE after being promised a job as a maid was kidnapped twice and forced to work as a prostitute, a court hears.

DUBAI // A Bangladeshi woman who came to the UAE after being promised a job as a maid was kidnapped twice and forced to work as a prostitute, a court was told yesterday. SI, 25, told prosecutors she was abused for months in a brothel, then faced another ordeal at the hands of two men she thought were going to help her. MJ, 29, and RA, 22, both Bangladeshi, are charged with kidnapping SI and trespassing after allegedly locking her in an abandoned flat at the England cluster of the International City development. They deny the charges.

SI told prosecutors she was offered a job in Dubai while still in Bangladesh and paid 70,000 takas (Dh3,700) to come to this country, records of the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance showed. The woman was met at the airport by a man who took her to a house and kept her there for two weeks before moving her to another flat, where she was forced into prostitution, the court was told."I was forced to sleep with five men a day at least," the woman said.

At the brothel, she met MJ and told him she wanted to escape. He gave her a mobile phone. She escaped from the brothel and contacted MJ, who allowed her to live in his house for a month. One day, the woman told prosecutors, MJ walked in with RA and asked her to have sex with them. When she refused, they beat her, she said. RA approached her with the same request a few days later and allegedly assaulted her.

On September 7, the defendants took SI to the International City flat, where she was gagged and had her hands and legs tied, she said. When the men went out, she pulled the gag off her mouth and shouted for help. KW, a Syrian executive assistant, was outside and heard the woman's cries. "I contacted the police when I saw the woman standing with her a rope dangling off her hands," KW said. "Police and Civil Defence arrived and broke in to the apartment and we found the woman in one of the rooms in absolute fear."

The trial was adjourned until April 22. amustafa@thenational.ae