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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Two women 'trafficked three teens to Dubai and forced them into prostitution'

The girls were brought to the emirate from Iraq after facing difficult circumstances in their home country

Two women brought three teenagers to Dubai and forced them to work as prostitutes, the Criminal Court was told on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said the Iraq women, aged 31 and 64, forged passports for the teenagers, altering their ages and names, and took them to Dubai where they forced them to work in the sex industry.

The first victim, 19, told prosecutors that the younger woman contacted her while she was in Iraq to offer her a job in Dubai. She was brought to the emirate in 2013.

“I was 19 when I came and now I'm 23. The defendants changed my name and my age,” she said.

She said she took the job because her father lost his job in the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein, and became severely depressed and unable to provide for the family.

She told the court that when she arrived in the UAE, she was taken to a villa in Abu Dhabi where she drank juice that she later found had been spiked with drugs.

She lost consciousness and when she awoke she discovered she had been raped.

“Then I was forced to work in prostitution and I was paid between Dh1,500 and Dh6,000, all of which was taken by the first defendant,” she said.

The second girl, 15, said she was working for US$10 (Dh37) a week in Iraq and was divorced after marrying at a young age because she was orphaned.

“But then the first defendant brought me here and forced me into prostitution,” she said.

The third victim, 16, said she ran away from home because her father ran a brothel in Al Kazemia in Iraq.

“I never went to school but learnt how to write and read at home," she said. "I ran away from my parents’ home then met the second defendant who, through the first defendant, brought me to Dubai in September 2016.”

She said she was forced to work in prostitution but on May 16, she ran away from the villa brothel in Dubai and went to Sharjah.

“I lived in a mosque for three days until a Palestinian woman sat with me and heard my story, then took me to a police station in Dubai where I reported the incident,” the girl said.

Police raided the villa in Al Qusais where the victim said her traffickers lived.

“We arrested the women and found more than Dh100,000 in cash with them," said a police major. "We found mobile phones, documents, victims’ passports, record books and contraceptives."

In court on Tuesday, the younger defendant denied charges of human trafficking and benefiting from the prostitution of the teenagers, and making hotel reservations for customers.

“I didn't do anything. I have been in jail for six months and I have a child to care for who doesn't have anyone but me,” she said.

The elder woman, who is also charged of human trafficking, did not attend court to face charges.

The next hearing is scheduled for November 28 to summon the second defendant.