x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Man 'lured women on dating sites'

Three Latin American women were lured to the UAE after meeting an Arab man on a dating website. Once here he forced them to work as prostitutes in bars and clubs in Dubai.

DUBAI // Police say they have arrested an Arab man on suspicion of using dating websites to lure three women from Latin American countries and forcing them to work as prostitutes.

A spokesman for the organised crime division at Dubai Police said the man had promised the women love, a long-term relationship and a new life with him in Dubai.

But when they arrived in the country he had sex with them before forcing them to work as prostitutes in bars and nightclubs, police said.

Maj Wissam Al Derai, the head of the Dubai Police human trafficking section, said officers had received information about a young woman being held captive by an Arab man who was forcing her to work as a prostitute.

Police went to a flat in the Al Muraqqabat neighbourhood where they found the three women and their suspected captor.

The suspected victims told officers the man had fooled them into travelling to Dubai with promises of love. But he began to take them to nightclubs to work as prostitutes.

The women said the man would threaten and physically abuse them if they came back to the flat without money.

Police said the man denied the women were forced into prostitution, saying they did it willingly.

He said he only physically assaulted one of the women once, when she returned home drunk and made fun of him while he was praying.

Col Abdul Rahim bin Shafiel, from the organised crime department, said this was the first case he had encountered where social media and dating websites had been used to lure victims to the UAE.

The three women and the suspect were all referred to the Public Prosecution, as well as a man from whom the suspect leased the flat, and a man who helped to obtain visas for the three women in exchange for cash.

A maid at the flat was also arrested.

Brig Gen Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, the director of the police CID, said: "The arm of the law is long and investigators and members of the police force are dispatched everywhere to ensure citizens and expats are safe."

hdajani@thenational.ae