x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Teenager forced into prostitution, Dubai court hears

A pimp and a madam threatened to kill and chop up a teenager if she refused to prostitute herself, a court heard today.

DUBAI // A pimp and a madam threatened to kill and chop up a teenager if she refused to prostitute herself, a court heard today.

The teenager was lured to the UAE with the promise of a job as a maid but was instead locked up at a brothel, beaten with a belt and subjected to the threats.

She and another prostitute - who had been held captive for two years - were freed after she told a customer of her ordeal and he informed police.

Prosecutors told the Criminal Court that the 18-year-old arrived in the country in November last year after a man approached her husband in Bangladesh and convinced him to pay 70,000 Taka to cover her travel expenses so she could take a job as a maid with an Emirati family.

When she arrived in Dubai, RA, from Bangladesh, took her passport and plane ticket and locked her in a flat in Fareej Al Marar.

He and the brothel's madam NR then beat the woman with a belt and threatened to kill her and chop her into pieces if she didn't prostitute herself.

The teenager said that the pimp was the first man to have sex with her.

"The madam would take all the money coming from sex then give it to [the pimp]," recalled the teenager. She said customers were charged from Dh50 to Dh500 depending on the length of time they spent with the prostitutes.

She and another woman, a 20-year-old also from Bangladesh, were not allowed to leave the apartment. The second woman said she arrived two years ago after her father was told she would work as a maid in Abu Dhabi. But like the teenager she was taken from the airport to the brothel, assaulted, threatened and forced into prostituting herself.

Both women were free after the teenager complained to one of her customers. "He was a good man, he listened to me then had me write my complaint which he took and gave to police," said the teenager.

Police raided the flat and arrested everyone inside.

On trial at the Criminal Court, RA claimed he knew neither of the women and denied a charge of human trafficking.

NR denied a charge of human trafficking and a charge of promoting prostitution.

The next hearing was scheduled for June 5.

salamir@thenational.ae