x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Woman who came to work in Dubai made to give 'exotic massages' to men

Two men deny luring a woman into the country with the promise of a decent job before forcing her to work as an exotic masseuse.

DUBAI // A woman who paid an agent nearly Dh4,000 so she could come to Dubai to work as a masseuse was locked up, abused and forced to give "exotic massages" to men, a court heard today.

Prosecutors told the Criminal Court that the 34-year-old Bangladesi SP paid the money to a man in her home country as a fee for getting her the necessary immigration documents and a plane ticket. The woman said she was promised a salary of Dh1,300 a month, but was not informed she would be required to massage men. She arrived in Dubai in February and was picked up from the airport by her two compatriots MJ, a 36-year-old plumber, and MF, a 28-year-old labourer.

She said she was taken to an apartment in Al Rafaa where the men locked her up for four days and abused her after she refused to massage men. She also told prosecutors that the plumber raped her during this period, though the prosecution did not pursue a rape charge.

She said that after being locked up she gave in to the men's demands and that they took her passport and other identification documents. She was then moved from one massage centre to another for a period of about two months.

One day, as she was leaving one of the massage centres she saw a man wearing traditional Emirati clothing and rushed up to him and told him her story, showing him bruises on her arm that were due to abuse. She also gave the man the address of the flat where she was being kept.

The man reported the matter to police and a few days later officers raided the flat and arrested the two men who had picked her up from the airport and three women.

The masseuse was then referred to Dubai's Foundation for Women and Children.

The two men denied charges of human trafficking. The next hearing was scheduled for November 25.

salamir@thenational.ae