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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 February 2019

Trafficked widow escaped prostitution through help of fellow captive, Dubai court told

A widow who came to the UAE as a nanny and was almost forced into prostitution escaped thanks to a fellow captive, a court heard on Thursday.

DUBAI// A widow who came to the UAE as a nanny and was almost forced into prostitution escaped thanks to a fellow captive, a court heard on Thursday.

Dubai Criminal Court was told that Uzbek national M A, 35, a mother of two, lived in cramped conditions with her mother and brother when a neighbour offered her the position.

“She [the neighbour] called on March 7 this year and told me that I will be paid US$500 a month for child caring and cleaning the house as well,” said the victim.

After receiving the offer, M A went to meet the neighbour, S, to arrange her travel to Dubai.

When she arrived for the meeting, S was nowhere to be found. In her place was a man who offered to help.

“A man identified as B, that S had told me about, came and offered to buy my ticket and issue my visa then send me to a woman he knows in Dubai who would help me find a job,” said M A. “Then, I would pay him back from my salary.”

The money she owed would be paid to her employer in Dubai before being transferred to B, the court heard.

M A stayed in the city, where she met B, for a further 12 days, until her visa and ticket were ready for collection. During that time, her expenses were paid for by B.

On March 19 this year, M A landed at Dubai International Airport and was picked up by her compatriot, 44-year-old E A.

From there, the duo travelled to a flat in Sharjah, after which M A allegedly had her passport seized and was told she had to repay US$10,000 in expenses.

“I told her that B told me it was only US$3000,” said M A.

The court heard that E A then told the victim she had to work as a prostitute.

“I refused but I got frightened when she said she would send me to a gang who would lock me up and give me away for sex seekers for the cheapest prices,” said M A.

M A told the court she was taken to a flat in Dubai where she met other women from her home country, all of whom had sex with men in exchange for Dh20.

For over a week, M A gave her captors excuses for not going out to seek customers. On her first day outside the flat, looking for men, she was able to escape with the help of one of a prostitute.

“She gave me Dh150 and told me to take a taxi and run away. She said she can work in this business because she is single and had no children but for me, with two children, I better run away.”

The Uzbek made her way to the airport, where she eventually found someone who spoke the same language as her. After explaining her situation, the man told her to call the police.

Police raided the apartment in Dubai and arrested E A, who initially denied her involvement.

“At first she denied everything — even knowing the victim — then said that she met M A in a park two days before the arrest as she was homeless and asked for her help,” said O A, a police officer.

Prosecutors said that E A had been deported on three previous occasions, once in 2007 and then again in April and September of 2011.

The Uzbek was charged with trafficking M A, which she denied in court.

The next hearing will be October 27.

salamir@thenational.ae

Updated: September 11, 2014 04:00 AM

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