x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Man who lured widow into prostitution jailed

A man who lured a widow from India into the country, then forced her into prostitution, is jailed for three years.

DUBAI // A man who lured a widow from India into the country before raping her and forcing her into prostitution was today sentenced to three years in jail.

The Dubai Criminal Court found SH, 20, of India, guilty of human trafficking, hostage-taking and running a brothel. He had lured MF, a 31-year-old widow, with the offer of a job as a maid, but instead forced her to have sex for money with up to seven men a day.

The widow came to Dubai in August last year to search for a job to support her two sons but returned to India when she was unable to find one.

At the end of February, however, she received a call from someone who offered her a job as a maid in Dubai, for Dh800 a month.

She arrived in Dubai on March 5, and was met by SH and another man. The men took her into a room in Naif that had been subdivided with wooden partitions and had a bathroom annexed to it.

The next day, they took her passport and locked her inside the room. They left her with her mobile phone so she could call her sons.

SH then raped the widow before telling her she must work as a prostitute for three months or pay them back 20,000 Indian rupees (Dh1,311) for her travel cost. SH received between Dh50 and Dh100 each time one of his prostitute's had sex with a client.

"They used to shout at me if I was not nice to the customers, and threatened to sell me off to some other people who would exploit me more and would not let me go for at least five years," the widow said.

She eventually told her family in India of her predicament and they encouraged her to report it to police. On March 23, after taking the 999 number from one of her clients, she called police.

Police raided the room on March 26.

SH tried to escape from a window to the roof of the building, but was caught by the officers. He claimed he had arrived in the country to work as a servant for a family in Al Ain, but failed to pass the health check and took work in a brothel instead.

SH, who had denied the charges, will be deported following his prison term. Two others charged with SH remain at large.

salamir@thenational.ae