DUBAI// A husband and wife jailed for forcing a 15-year-old orphan into prostituion must complete their sentence, Court of Appeal has ruled.
The pair, from Bangladesh, were sentenced to 10 years each for bringing the 15-year-old to Dubai on the promise of a maid’s job.
The couple, along with a compatriot who worked as their driver, were found guilty of trafficking the teenager using a passport with a fake age.
In an earlier hearing, the court was told the victim, also from Bangladesh, lived with her grandparents. She was brought to Dubai by the couple after being told she would be paid good money working as a maid.
The couple, both 46, arranged for a passport for the victim but made her age older so she could get a work visa.
“The wife visited my grandparents and told them that she had a well paying job for me in Dubai as a maid, and they agreed,” said the girl.
When she arrived at Dubai International Airport at the end of 2014 she was met up by the couple and their 42-year-old driver and taken to an apartment in Al Rafaa. There her passport was confiscated and she was beaten and threatened. The victim said she was first ordered to massage men but was later forced to have sex with them.
“I was accompanied by either one wherever I went, therefore I wasn’t able to escape,” the girl said in court records.
Another Bangladeshi teenager told prosecutors that she was offered a job as a masseuse in Dubai by the couple’s son who helped to get her a passport and a plane ticket after she paid him 12,000 Taka (Dh566).
She arrived in the UAE on September 9 last year at Sharjah Airport and was taken to the same apartment in Al Rafaa where her passport was seized and she was trained for about a week on how to massage men.
“I was surprised to know that I have to massage even the private parts of men. For about five months I worked as a masseuse from 10am to 12am, I was not forced to have sex with any man, but then the couple told me that I will start doing it,” said the 19-year-old.
She added that on her first day working as a prostitute she cried in front of a customer and told him she was being forced to sell her body. He agreed to help her and sent a text message to Dubai police falsely reporting a murder in the apartment.
Police arrived 15 minutes after receiving the message and found the two women along with three others who were working as prostitutes willingly.
Police arrested the three defendants on March 1 this year.
“The husband said during investigations that he worked as a cook but he and his wife started their own company bringing maids from Bangladesh. He also said the third defendant worked for them as a driver for Dh2,000 a month,” testified an Emirati policeman.
All three were convicted of human trafficking, which they denied in the criminal and appeals courts. However, they were convicted and sentenced to 10 years in jail each to be followed by deportation. The court also ordered the closure of the apartment which was used as a brothel and ordered the confiscation of Dh1,200 found in the apartment.