Dubai: Two men have been cleared of human trafficking and forcing a woman to work as a masseuse in a spa and massage men against her will.
The two Bangladeshi men, a 36-year-old plumber, M.J., and a 28-year-old worker, M.F., were said to have allegedly lured their 34-year-old countrywoman to Dubai and forced her to work as a masseuse.
Citing lack of corroborated evidence, the Dubai Court of First Instance acquitted M.J. and M.F. of sexually exploiting their countrywoman.
However, the defendants were jailed for two months and fined Dh1,000 each for assaulting the woman.
“No, I did not do so,” said M.J. when he defended himself in court recently.
Meanwhile, M.F. contended: “I did not coerce her to massage anybody. I am innocent.”
According to the charge sheet, the defendants picked up the woman from Dubai International Airport and kept her in an apartment in Al Rifaa. Then they were said to have exploited her need for money and forced her to work as a masseuse. When she decided to stop massaging men, the suspects beat her and forced her to continue, according to records.
According to Tuesday’s judgement, the suspects were found not to have committed any of the aforementioned crimes except for the beating.
The woman alleged that she met a man in her country who convinced her to work as a masseuse in Dubai for a Dh1,300 salary.
“He asked me to pay him 60,000 Bangladeshi takas (Dh2,744) to process my visa. M.J. took my passport and I started work shortly after arrival. I worked for two months without salary and they took my tips. I refused to massage men once I discovered that it was illegal.
“When I asked them to legalise my residence visa, they beat me. They locked me up for four days… M.J. had sex with me against my will. Then I told them that I agreed to resume work… M.F. dropped me at a spa. I ran out of the spa and told an Emirati man about my ordeal,” claimed the woman.
Records said police raided the spa and arrested the defendants.
An Emirati anti-human trafficking policeman testified that the woman claimed that M.J. and M.F. forced her into prostitution.
“The suspects were arrested at the gym on the roof of the building. The suspects claimed that their job was to drop her at massage centres only,” claimed the policeman.