ABU DHABI // A human trafficker who lured 18 Thai women to the UAE promising them Dh6,000-a-month jobs at health spas before forcing them into prostitution was yesterday jailed for five years. WM, from China, was jailed at Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance after being convicted of masterminding the operation and telling the women they would work as beauticians and masseuses.
He was sentenced to an additional month in jail for possessing alcohol and a further month for possessing pornographic films. Eight other traffickers from Thailand and China were sentenced to three years in prison for assisting and facilitating the illicit trade. Two who worked as drivers for the women, TK, from Thailand, and SM, from Singapore, were also jailed for an additional month for possessing alcohol. All those convicted will be deported after they serve their prison terms.
A 10th person accused of being part of the gang, FF, a Thai woman, was acquitted. A representative from the Thai embassy confirmed that the agent who brought in the women had been arrested last week in Thailand, and will be tried there. The court was told that one of the victims had spoken to a man on her flight from Bangkok who expressed surprise at the amount of money they had been promised. The man lived in Abu Dhabi and gave them his mobile phone number, telling them to call if they needed help.
One of the victims called the man after she realised she had been deceived. He gave her the Thai embassy's contact number, and she called for help. Just more than a week after the women's arrival in the country, police raided the apartment. The victims were sent back to Thailand after the court ordered that the women can go home. The ring operated legitimate businesses - an antiques and gifts shop and a restaurant - to cover up their illegal activities, enabling them to obtain work permits and visas for the women.