Men who trafficked girl, 17, in Dubai have jail sentences upheld

Trio sentenced to three years each plus deportation for forcing minor into prostitution

Dubai Criminal Court heard the men were arrested on May 23 after police received a tip-off
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Three men who trafficked a teenage girl into Dubai and forced her into prostitution have had their three-year jail sentences upheld on appeal.

Dubai Criminal Court had earlier convicted the offenders, all from Bangladesh and aged between 34 and 47, of human trafficking.

The men were arrested on May 23 last year after police in the emirate were made aware of the situation.

“We received information about a girl, 17, working as a dancer in a club in Al Muraqqabat area and forced into prostitution by three men,” a Dubai police officer told the court.

An investigation team from the anti-human trafficking department at the force was set up to verify information and make arrests.

“After the information was confirmed, a sting operation was put in place to arrest the offenders,” said the officer.

An undercover policeman posed as a customer and was asked to pay Dh3,300 ($898).

After making the payment, the officer was left alone in a room with the girl. He then signalled for his fellow officers to arrest the three suspects with the money in their possession.

It was revealed during questioning that the 47-year-old was the manager of the club where the girl was coerced into working as a dancer and prostitute.

“He lured her to come to the country, issued her a visa and bought her the airplane ticket then forced her to do work she did not want to do,” the officer said in court.

He said the 34-year-old picked up the girl from the airport and handled customer requests while the third man dealt with customer payments.

Locked away

The victim told officers that she was kept in an apartment in Al Mutainah area with a number of other girls and that she came to the country because she needed money.

“A friend of mine back home told me there was a good work opportunity in Dubai and connected me with one of the suspects,” she told the court.

Everything was then arranged for her, including a passport, a visa and a plane ticket.

“He said he will pay me Dh2000 a month,” she said.

The victim told judges that she was locked in the apartment and supplied with food and water and other basics but was never allowed out on her own.

She was allowed outside only when they were taking her to the club and to meet customers.

In November last year the men denied the charge against them and they were sentenced to three years in prison each, with the court ordering they be deported after serving their prison sentences.

The case was sent to the Court of Appeal, which last week dismissed their petition and upheld the sentencing against them.

Updated: January 27, 2023, 7:08 AM