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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Eight-member gang convicted of trafficking three teenagers

Police raided the brothel following a tip-off

Eight people have been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of trafficking three teenagers to the UAE to work as prostitutes.

Dubai Criminal Court heard how the defendants, from Pakistan, doctored the passports of the 17-year-old girls to avoid customs spotting how young they were.

Police charged the seven men and one woman after raiding a brothel in the Al Baraha area of the city on December 12 last year.

Officers had received a tip-off from an informant that the defendants were exploiting underage girls.

“We sent an undercover police officer to pose as a customer,” a police lieutenant told the hearing.

“After he was taken into the flat and offered to have sex with one of the teenagers, he gave us the signal and we raided the place.”

At a court hearing in May last year, six male defendants admitted to human trafficking charges as well as facilitating prostitution.

One female defendant denied human trafficking but admitted to facilitating prostitution. She said her only role in the case was to book airline tickets for the girls. A further defendant remains on the run and was convicted in absentia.

Following the raid of the brothel, police shutdown the apartment and confiscated cash, mobile phones and other items.

One of the girls told prosecutors she had been contacted by the female defendant and asked if she wanted a job as a sex worker.

“I agreed and they forged my documents and passport so I could come,” she said.

“I worked for three months and then returned home.” She added that she later returned to Dubai on a tourist visa to work for a further three months.

The second girl told officers she had worked as a prostitute for six months while the third worked for three months before they were all arrested.

Subject to appeals, the court ordered each of the seven defendants caught in the raid be deported after serving their prison terms.