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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 13 November 2018

Four accused of trafficking a 16-year-old to Dubai and forcing her into prostitution

Three men and one woman have been charged with tricking a teenager into travelling to Dubai to work in a brothel

Three men and a woman have been charged with human trafficking after they lured a 16-year-old girl to the UAE and forced her into prostitution.

Dubai Criminal Court was told that the quartet, from Bangladesh, convinced the teenager, also from Bangladesh, to apply for a passport and falsify her age so that she would be allowed to travel alone.

Another woman, about whom no details were given, found the teen in Dhaka, where she was looking for work.

“I told her I would love to work anywhere as long as I would be able to care for my sick parents, but that I didn't have money to issue a passport or buy a ticket,” the teen told prosecutors.

The woman took her number and called her a few days later, informing her that someone would call her from Dubai in relation to a job offer.

“A [second] woman called me saying she would issue me a visa and wire me enough cash to get a passport and buy a ticket, but said that I would have to give a false age for the passport, which I did,” she said.

After obtaining her passport and sending a copy of it to the woman in Dubai, the teen received a copy of her visa. She was then advised to go to a specific travel agent in Dhaka to obtain her ticket.

When she arrived to Dubai on May 3, she was picked up by one of the three male defendants and taken to an apartment where she stayed for three days.

“I was given some medicine, and then taken to a different apartment where I was told I would have to work in prostitution. When I refused, they threatened to send me to jail because of the money I owed them for getting me here,” said the girl.

For the next eight days, she said she had sex with customers, but on the ninth day, police raided the apartment and arrested everyone.

Police said they had been tipped off about the brothel and had referred the teen to Dubai Foundation for Women and Children.

“One of our sources sent us a WhatsApp image of the female defendant alongside the teen, which had been sent out to announce to customers the arrival of a new girl to the brothel,” said an Emirati second lieutenant.

Police investigated before obtaining an arrest warrant and raiding the brothel in Al Muhaisnah.

“We discovered that the female defendant had previously been deported, but had re-entered the UAE illegally by sea two years ago," said the officer.

All four defendants were charged with human trafficking. The three men denied the charges, but the woman was not present in court to enter a plea. She was also charged with working as a prostitute.

Two of the men, aged 30 and 35, were also charged with running a brothel and facilitating prostitution. The younger defendant pleaded guilty but the co-accused denied the charges.

The third man, 42, denied an extra charge of having consensual sex outside of wedlock with the woman defendant.

She will be summoned to the next hearing, on September 3.