x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Maid 'forced runaways into prostitution'

Police bust a human trafficking ring operated by a run away maid.

DUBAI // A woman accused of running a human-trafficking gang that forced runaway maids into prostitution was herself a runaway maid, police said yesterday.

Officers raided a house in Deira where two maids were being held against their will and forced into prostitution. The search followed tip-offs from people who had received calls from their former maids telling them of their imprisonment. One of the employers was an Emirati woman, the other an officer with Dubai Police.

Colonel Abed Al Rahim Mohammed bin Shefeq, head of the anti-organised crimes department at Dubai Police, said both maids called from the same number, which was tracked to an old town house shared by several tenants.

Police believe the network was managed by a runaway maid who lured other maids to join her at the house before imprisoning them.

"The victims were watched by a guard at all times. He also provided customers for the gang," said Maj Wissam Al Darai, head of the human-trafficking unit at the Criminal Investigation Department.

A woman and two men have been arrested and police said there could be more arrests. They do not know how many maids might have fallen victim to the gang.