Jail term upheld for runaway Dubai maid who tried to sell baby for Dh4,000

Appeal court upholds three-year jail term for a runaway maid who tried to sell her illegitimate baby for Dh4,000.

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DUBAI // A runaway maid who tried to sell her illegitimate baby for Dh4,000 because she could not afford to care for it has had her three-year jail term upheld by the Appeal Court.

S M, 22, from Indonesia, absconded from her sponsor in Ras Al Khaimah in September 2011. She moved to Dubai where she worked as a part-time maid then turned to prostitution in which she would earn up to Dh2,500 a month.

She fell in love with one of her customers, a Pakistani, who asked her to quit prostitution and move in with him, promising he would provide for her instead.

She moved into his house in Deira before falling pregnant. He asked her to have an abortion, but she refused. He then abandoned her.

“He said he would leave the country and head to Oman,” recalled the maid.

She resumed work as a prostitute until she was seven months pregnant. On August 16 last year she gave birth at home, assisted by a friend from Indonesia.

“I’m wrong, I was out of my mind when I tried to do that,” said the maid, whose six-month-old girl is now being cared for by the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children.

A few months after the birth she decided to leave the UAE but lacked the money, so asked her friend to look for a family interested in buying her baby for Dh6,000.

One of the people informed by the friend told police what was happening. Two undercover officers posing as a married couple then approached the maid pretending they wanted to buy her baby. They negotiated her down to Dh4,000 and agreed to meet her on February 4 this year at a car park in Al Bustan Centre, Al Qusais, to take custody of the child.

She met them and climbed into their car before handing over the baby and taking the Dh4,000. As she left the car she was arrested.

“When I asked her why she was selling her baby, she said she was so poor that she wouldn’t be able to support her back in her country, and that she needed the money to return to her country,” recalled H A, 37, one of the two undercover officers.

“I haven’t seen my baby since they arrested me, I would love to see her,” said the maid.

Police investigations found that the child’s father, T K, had entered the UAE illegally through the Omani border. He went back to Oman when he abandoned the maid before fleeing to his home country. He remains at large.

The maid was charged in the Criminal Court with human trafficking and prostitution. She confessed to both charges.

She was convicted of both counts and will be deported after completing her jail term.