x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Teen trafficked to UAE, court told

Woman was brought to Dubai with promises of a job but forced into prostitution, prosecutors say.

DUBAI // Three people deceived, lured and attempted to force a young girl into prostitution, a Dubai Court heard this morning.

The businessman FA, 51, from Palestine was charged in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance with trafficking a 19-year-old Moroccan and confining her between May 11 and June 9.

A Moroccan woman identified as HL and an unidentified man known only as F remain at large in the crime.

FA denied the charges before Judge Maher Al Mahdi.

The 19-year-old was lured from Morocco with promises of a job in Dubai, but was asked to sign a cheque worth Dh5,000 before her travel, prosecution records show.

Prosecutors said she arrived at Dubai International Airport on May 11 and was taken to a flat in Deira. Then she was told she would work in prostitution, and her passport and travel documents were taken.

When she refused to work, she was threatened with being sent back to Morocco, where she would face jail because of the cheque she signed.

The 19-year-old told prosecutors she contacted her mother in Morocco, who gave her the number of a friend in Sharjah who could help her.

"I contacted the woman in Sharjah and told her what had happened," she told prosecutors.

She said she eventually escaped when one of the other women in the flat distracted her captors.

FA was arrested on July 20, records show.

The next hearing will be on November 20.

amustafa@thenational.ae