x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Man sentenced to 5 years for forcing maid into prostitution acquitted by Dubai court

SAA was one of five men convicted of human trafficking offences and sentenced to five years in prison, but the Appeal Court upheld the conviction of the other four.

DUBAI // A man sentenced to five years in prison for forcing a maid into prostitution has been acquitted by the Appeal Court.

SAA was one of five men convicted of human trafficking offences and sentenced to five years in prison, but the Appeal Court upheld the conviction of the other four.

All five were arrested after the woman tried to escape from the brothel where she was being held captive by climbing down a drain pipe. She lost her grip and fell to the ground, breaking her back and losing consciousness.

When she came to she was in Rashid Hospital receiving treatment for multiple spine fractures. She told police of her ordeal and they raided the apartment, arresting the five men.

The original trial at the Criminal Court heard the Bangladeshi woman arrived in the country to work as a maid for an Emirati family in Fujairah, but absconded after another maid gave her the number of a man she said would help her find a job.

She contacted the man and agreed to work for him, but when he picked her up he took her to a flat in Dubai and locked her up for nine days before telling her she would work as a prostitute.

"When I refused, I was beaten and raped," she recalled.

She was then moved to another apartment where four men ran a brothel. She was locked up and assaulted.

After about 45 days in captivity, on October 6 last year, she made her escape when one of the men went to the toilet and climbed out the third-floor window.

The Bangladeshis AA, SA, 24, NH, 26, SAA, 32, and AH, 28, were all sentenced to five years in prison by the Criminal Court. The Appeal Court overturned the conviction of SAA, but upheld the other sentences. Court records did not give a reason for the acquittal.

The other four men will be deported after serving their jail terms.

salamir@thenational.ae