Dubai: Four men, who encouraged a maid to flee from her sponsor in Al Ain and then brought her to work in a brothel in Dubai, have been jailed for five years each.
The 41-year-old Bangladeshi maid, a mother of three teenagers, took up the maid’s job in Al Ain shortly after her husband divorced her in January 2017.
Having obtained the number of an acquaintance in Al Ain, the maid called her up to say that she was suffering at work. The acquaintance provided her with the number of another Bangladeshi woman whom she had expected to help her find a new job.
The Bangladeshi woman talked the 41-year-old mother to flee from her sponsor and come to Dubai to work in housekeeping for Dh1,500 per month.
The mother communicated with her countrywoman via WhatsApp and when she reached Dubai, her 28-year-old countryman picked her up and drove her to a villa.
Thereafter, the maid discovered the bitter truth that she was brought to work in a brothel. She was made to work for nearly 13 days in prostitution for Dh200-Dh300 per client until police freed her in a sting operation when her four countrymen tried to sell her to another pimp for Dh5,500.
An informant alerted Dubai Police’s anti-human trafficking section that the 28-year-old Bangladeshi man and his three countrymen, aged 25, 36 and 31, made the woman work in prostitution in a house that they ran as a brothel.
Tasked to pose as a client, the informant contacted the four men and arranged to buy the woman from them.
Police apprehended the quartet in a sting operation and are still searching for their countrywoman suspect who lured the maid to Dubai.
On Thursday, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the four Bangladeshi men of committing a human trafficking crime and sexually exploiting the woman when they tried to sell her for Dh5,500 to another pimp to work in prostitution.
Presiding judge Urfan Omar fined each of the culprits Dh100,000 and ordered that the flat that was being run as a brothel be closed down for good and be never reopened without obtaining prosecutors’ permission.
The defendants were also convicted of running a brothel and bringing clients to have paid sex with the victim.
Three of the men were also found guilty of having sex with the woman.
According to the primary judgement, the convicts will be deported following the completion of their punishment.
The runaway woman suspect was charged with abetment in the human trafficking crime.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the human trafficking and sexual exploitation charges.
They admitted that they ran a brothel and brought in clients.
The victim said she was coerced to work in prostitution because she needed the money.
“One day at 10pm, I was asked to pack my clothes because I was being transferred to another place … when I went down to the street, I saw two of the suspects speaking to someone in a white car. The suspects put my bags in that car and asked me to sit inside it … a few minutes later, police raided the place and arrested us all. I did not know that I was being sold to another pimp,” she claimed.
The ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.