x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

'Slave trade' baby seller jailed for three years

A woman, described in court as a modern-day slave trader, was sentenced to three years in jail for trying to sell a baby boy to an Emirati family.

Dubai // A woman, described in court as a modern-day slave trader, was sentenced to three years in jail for trying to sell a baby boy to an Emirati family. The Indonesian woman, HN, 24, was convicted at the Dubai Criminal Courts of First Instance of human trafficking after trying to sell the child for Dh10,000. She was arrested after officers launched an investigation following a tip-off to the human trafficking division in the Organised Crime Department of Dubai Police.

An officer contacted the woman by telephone and discussed the purchase of the baby, according to court documents. "I got her to reduce the price to Dh8,500 and set a time the same day to make the purchase," said the officer. After her arrest, the woman told officers the baby was the illegitimate son of her friend, who wanted to dispose of the child and leave the country. The baby's mother, however, told officers she wanted a family to take care of the boy because she had had it out of wedlock. She said she was not informed of the proposed cash transaction and did not want to sell the baby.

In the closing arguments last week, HN's lawyer, Harun Tahlak accused police of entrapment. He said his client was not arrested red-handed, as she decided not to sell the child. He also told the court that police did not follow arrest procedures and his client should be acquitted. The woman was described by the Chief Prosecutor Ali Humaid Bin Khatem, from the Public Prosecutions Human trafficking Task Force, as a fraudulent individual who deceived the child's mother by telling her that she would hand him over to an Emirati family who would care of him, but instead tried to make financial gain.

Mr Tahlak was unavailable for comment after the verdict. The woman has 15 days to appeal the sentence. @Email:amustafa@thenational.ae