Further details have emerged of an alleged case of human trafficking in which people with special needs were thought to have been brought into the UAE to be used as beggars in Sharjah.
On Monday, Sharjah Police said they had arrested an Asian gang for the crime, although it had originally been thought that one man was to be prosecuted for trafficking.
The case is believed to be the first case of its kind in the UAE.
The alleged human traffickers – from undisclosed Asian countries – are accused of taking advantage of more than 35 people with special needs and using them as beggars. The gang brought the people with special needs from their home countries into the UAE, including four people with amputated arms and legs, to collect money, said a Sharjah police official.
The gang members were referred to Sharjah Public Prosecution.
Col Ebrahim Al Ajel, director of Sharjah Police’s Criminal Investigation Department, said: “The arrests followed several reports about the gang, who took advantage of people with special needs.
“We identified the location where the [human trafficking] victims were living. They were found in bad conditions and were saved.”
The rescued parties were referred to shelters for victims of human trafficking in Abu Dhabi.
A post on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website last Wednesday said that a UAE court was to prosecute a man accused of using people with determination as beggars.