DUBAI // A man and a woman have appeared in court accused of trafficking a 15-year-old-girl through Oman and into the UAE before forcing her to work as a prostitute.
The defendants, aged 27 and from Bangladesh, denied charges of human trafficking, running a brothel and facilitating prostitution when they appeared in Dubai Criminal Court. The woman was additionally charged with working as a prostitute.
The victim’s stepmother contacted the female defendant and asked her to find a job for the girl in Dubai. The woman claimed to have found the teen a maid’s job and informed her family a man will contact them to arrange the girl’s travel documents. To process her travel papers, the stepmother altered her stepdaughter’s age to 25.
“My father is sick and his wife provides for us. I used to collect leaves and use them to make baskets to sell because we are very poor,” said the victim, adding that she begged the female defendant to find her a decent job.
The girl travelled from Bangladesh to Oman where she was kept in an apartment for 15 days before being taken to Dubai where she was forced to work in prostitution.
“On January 28 this year I was taken to a different brothel which was raided by police the same day and everyone was arrested,” said the girl.
A third defendant, a 34-year-old man from Bangladesh, was also charged with human trafficking, running a brothel and facilitating prostitution. The court was told he ran four brothels in Dubai but is at large after fleeing the country.
The next hearing will be on June 28.