Dubai: Two jobless men landed in police custody after they arranged with an informant via WhatsApp to sell a woman to work in sex trade.
The Bangladeshi men, aged 25 and 30, were said to have communicated with their two compatriot maids via Facebook and lured them with lucrative job offers rather than working as maids for Dh800 in Abu Dhabi.
Having been contacted by another Bangladeshi woman, the maids were talked in to absconding from their sponsor’s house in Abu Dhabi and were brought to Dubai to work in jobs for Dh5,000 each. Shortly after discovering that the lucrative job was nothing more than prostitution, one of the maids refused and resisted all attempts to make her work in the sex industry for two consecutive days.
Thereafter, the Bangladeshi men, who had driven her from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, communicated with another man, who turned out to be a police informant and agreed to sell him the maid for Dh3,400 to work in prostitution.
After communicating with Dubai Police’s anti-human trafficking department, the informant received the maid’s photo via WhatsApp. As part of a string operation, according to records, police arrested the two Bangladeshi men shortly after they contacted the informant and notified him on his WhatsApp that they had arrived in Al Karama public park.
Prosecutors charged the suspects with committing a human trafficking crime and exploiting the maid’s need when they offered her for sale to work in prostitution.
The main culprit [a Bangladeshi national as well] remains at large.
The duo were also accused of aiding and abetting the absconder with running a brothel.
The suspects pleaded not guilty to the human trafficking charge before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Wednesday.
The maid testified to prosecutors that she arrived in the UAE on a visit visa and had started working as a maid for Dh800 for a family in Abu Dhabi.
“Another Bangladeshi maid worked with me … she communicated on Facebook with another woman, who convinced us to run away from our sponsor’s house and go work with her for Dh3,000-Dh5,000. She alleged to us that we would be working in a salon or in sales. Having agreed on a particular time to run away, a car came and picked us up at 4am from outside our sponsor’s place. The suspects were in the car … they took us to stay in a flat in Dubai. My friend was taken to the market, and when she returned, I realised that they had purchased indecent clothes for her. I assumed instantly that they wanted us to work in prostitution … but I refused. A week later, they took me to a place that is 10 minutes away by car. Suddenly police raided the place and arrested everybody,” she claimed to prosecutors.
An anti-human trafficking police lieutenant testified to prosecutors that they arranged with the informant and apprehended the suspects in a sting operation.
“The suspects had sent a photo of the maid to the informant’s WhatsApp … they had agreed to sell her for Dh3,400 to work in prostitution,” the lieutenant claimed to prosecutors.
The court will appoint lawyers to defend the suspects when it reconvenes on October 8.