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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Women who trafficked and forced three teens into prostitution are jailed

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

Two women who brought three teenagers to Dubai and forced them to work as prostitutes will spend 10 years in prison each.

The Iraqi 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 defendant 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 told prosecutors.

She said she agreed to work in Dubai because her father lost his job with the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein and had become severely depressed and was 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 was given a glass of juice that had been laced with drugs and lost consciousness. When she came to, she realised that 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, a 15-year-old divorcee who got married after a young age after becoming orphaned, said she was working for US$10 (Dh37) a week in Iraq.

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

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

The third victim, 16, told the court that she had run 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, last year 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. The woman then took me to a police station in Dubai where I reported what had happened,” 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 last November, 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, denied during a later hearing after failing to attend the first court hearing.

On Sunday, Dubai Criminal Court sentenced both women to 10 years in jail each to be followed by deportation. They can appeal their sentences within two weeks.

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