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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Man kidnapped maids at Dubai Airport in bid to pay off debts  

Offender posed as recruitment agent to lure domestic workers

A man who posed as a recruitment agent to kidnap maids on their arrival at Dubai International Airport has been jailed.  AFP 
A man who posed as a recruitment agent to kidnap maids on their arrival at Dubai International Airport has been jailed.  AFP 

A jobless man who posed as a recruitment agent in order to kidnap maids on their arrival in Dubai has been locked up for three years.

The Egyptian offender lured the unsuspecting women by claiming to represent the companies who hired them for domestic work before attempting to sell them on to families himself, Dubai Criminal Court heard.

The 29-year-old took the maids' passports and phones after meeting them at Dubai International Airport before holding them captive at an apartment in the emirate.

He then fooled families into believing he worked for a legitimate domestic labour firm to strike deals for the victims' services, issuing them with faked contracts.

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Court records stated that he had kidnapped seven maids by August 27 of last year, when he was arrested.

He was caught out when a group of the maids managed to escape and alert their recruitment agency.

Prosecutors said the man had an accomplice who worked for a recruitment agency outside of the country, who tipped him off about the time and date of the maids' arrival into Dubai.

Three Indonesian maids, aged 35, 31 and 28, were picked up at the airport by the defendant on July 6 of last year.

“He introduced himself as the agent of the company that recruited us then took our passports saying he needed to examine them, took our mobile phones then took us to an apartment where he photographed us then locked us up inside,” said the women.

Another victim, from Ethiopia, said she was kept captive for three days.

The plot was foiled when another Ethiopian woman, who was bringing the women meals, left their room door unlocked, giving them the opportunity to flee.

One of the Indonesian victims then contacted her recruitment agency in Ajman to tell them of their plight.

Police launched an investigation and the defendant was later arrested.

During questioning he admitted kidnapping the maids and offering them to families because he was in debt and needed money.

At Dubai Criminal Court last January, the defendant denied charges of kidnap, theft, forgery and use of forged documents.

He was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison to be followed by deportation.

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