x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Woman who tried to sell infant loses appeal against conviction

An Indonesian woman jailed for three years for attempting to sell a baby has had her appeal rejected.

DUBAI // A woman jailed for three years for attempting to sell a baby has had her appeal rejected. HN, 24, an Indonesian, was described as a "modern day slave trader" by prosecutors. She was convicted of human trafficking in June after information was passed to Dubai Police. Corporal Oshba Farhan, of the organised crime unit, investigated reports of a woman looking for an Emirati to buy a baby for Dh10,000. According to her statement to prosecutors, the officer phoned HN and discussed the purchase with her.

"I got her to reduce the price to Dh8,500 and set a time on the same day to make the purchase," said Cpl Farhan. During interrogation, HN told officers the baby was an illegitimate child her friend wanted to dispose of before leaving the country. But the baby's mother told officers she only wanted a family to take care of the child. She said she knew nothing about any money exchange and did not wish to sell the child.

Harun Tahlak, HN's lawyer, accused police of entrapment. He told Dubai Court of Appeal that HN was not arrested red-handed, as she decided not to sell the child. He said his client should be acquitted, as officers had not followed the arrest procedures dictated by the prosecutor's warrant. Ali Humaid bin Khatem, the chief prosecutor, described HN as a "fraudulent" individual. He said she had deceived the child's mother by saying that she would find a family to care for him, when she intended to use the child for financial gain.

Last October, an American teacher who bought an illegitimate baby was given a three-month suspended jail sentence. The 46-year-old mother of four was charged in February last year with purchasing a boy in 2005 from an independent women's shelter in Jumeirah. She was charged along with a Canadian woman, who was acquitted. amustafa@thenational.ae