Three Dubai residents have been found guilty of human trafficking and forcing a 15-year-old girl into prostitution.
The Bangladeshi defendants, two men aged 27 and 34, and a 27-year-old woman were also convicted of running a brothel and facilitating prostitution for a number of women. The female defendant was additionally charged with working in prostitution.
The 34-year-old defendant remains at large and was tried and sentenced in absentia while the others appeared in court last June and denied all charges.
The 15-year-old Bangladeshi girl was rescued when authorities raided a brothel in Dubai on January 28.
She had been trafficked from her home country after her stepmother contacted her sister, the young girl’s aunt, to arrange a job opportunity for the girl.
Court records show that the aunt, the 27-year-old female defendant, told the girl’s stepmother she had arranged for the victim to start a job as a maid in Dubai.
This is when the 34-year-old defendant contacted the girl’s stepmother to arrange for her travel. Records show the stepmother altered the girl’s age on her travel documents, making her 25 rather than 15.
The victim was then trafficked through Oman into the UAE. She was under the impression that she would begin working as a maid in order to help support her family in Bangladesh. “My father is sick and his wife takes care of us, I used to collect leaves and use them to make baskets to sell because we are very poor,” the victim told the court.
However, instead of working as a maid she was forced into 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,” she said.
The 34-year-old Bangladeshi, who was convicted and sentenced in absentia, had run a network of four brothels in Dubai. He fled the country on the day police raided the brothel the 15-year-old girl was rescued from.
The 27-year-old male defendant told police the he worked “providing customers” to the brothels run by the older man.
All three were sentenced to five years in prison, and a Dh100,000 fine each, and the two in custody will be deported after serving their terms.