Defendants also slapped with fine of Dh100,000 for luring maids to work as prostitutes
Dubai: Three jobless men have been jailed for five years for trying to sell a woman to work in sex trade to a police informant via WhatsApp.
The Bangladeshi men, aged between 25 and 30, communicated with their two compatriot maids via Facebook, and lured them with lucrative job offers. The maids were working for Dh800 in Abu Dhabi.
Another Bangladeshi woman accomplice contacted the maids and were talked into absconding from their sponsor’s house in Abu Dhabi. They were brought to Dubai on the promise of jobs with salaries of Dh5,000 each.
When they discovered that the lucrative job turned out to be prostitution, one of the maids resisted attempts to make her work in the sex industry for two days.
The Bangladeshi trio communicated with another man, who turned out to be a police informant and agreed to sell him the maid for Dh3,400 to work in prostitution.
After communicating with Dubai Police’s anti-human trafficking department, the informant received the maid’s photo via WhatsApp.
Police arrested two of the men shortly after they contacted the informant and notified him on his WhatsApp that they had arrived in Al Karama public park. The third managed to escape.
On Sunday, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the defendants of committing a human trafficking crime and exploiting the maid’s need when they offered her for sale to work in prostitution.
Presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi fined the defendants Dh100,000 and ordered that the flat, which was being run as a brothel, to be shut down and never be reopened without a court order.
The defendants, who had pleaded not guilty, will be deported.
The maid said she arrived in the UAE on a visit visa and had started working as a maid for Dh800 for a family in Abu Dhabi.
“Another Bangladeshi maid worked with me … she communicated on Facebook with another woman, who convinced us to run away from our sponsor’s house and go work with her for Dh3,000-Dh5,000. She told us that we would be working in a salon or in sales. Having agreed on a particular time to run away, a car came and picked us up at 4am from outside our sponsor’s place. The defendants took us by car and made us stay in a flat in Dubai. My friend was taken to the market, and when she returned, I realised that they had purchased indecent clothes for her. I assumed that they wanted us to work in prostitution … but I refused. A week later, they took me to a place that is 10 minutes away by car. Suddenly police raided the place and arrested everybody,” she said.
An anti-human trafficking police lieutenant testified that they arranged with the informant and apprehended the suspects in a sting operation.
“The accused had sent a photo of the maid to the informant’s WhatsApp … they had agreed to sell her for Dh3,400 to work in prostitution,” the lieutenant claimed to prosecutors.
Sunday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.