20200918 Dubai Courts
A view of the Dubai Courts building. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: A gang in Dubai incited a housemaid to run away from her sponsor with promise of a better job, but they tried to sell her for Dh3,500 to work as a prostitute, the Dubai Court of First Instance heard on Sunday.

A 40-year-old Indian driver and a 39-year-old woman from Indonesia lured the maid to escape from her sponsor in Al Ain. They drove her to Dubai and sold her for Dh3,500 without her knowledge, to work as a prostitute.

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Dubai Public Prosecution has charged the two defendants with human trafficking.

The 33-year-old Indonesian victim had arrived in the UAE in July last year through a maids’ recruitment firm. She worked for an Emirati family in Al Ain. She claimed that she was too exhausted from the heavy workload at the household and decided to create a Facebook group to express her frustrations. “The female defendant wrote comments to my posts and later we exchanged messages about my problem. She told me that she could find a better job for Dh2,000 if I escaped from my sponsor,” the victim said on record.

The Indonesian defendant then lured her to escape after promising to employ her with a cleaning company. The maid had sent the location of the villa and the defendant asked her to leave the house and meet the Indian defendant in his car. “He [the Indian defendant] was in a white car, waiting near the house. He drove me to Dubai.” He left her in the car near a cafeteria for several hours until Dubai Police raided the area, arrested the defendant and told her that the defendant had intended to sell her for Dh3,500. “I didn’t know that I would be deceived. Otherwise, I would have stayed on with my sponsor,” the victim added.

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According to Dubai Police, an information reached the human trafficking department about the defendant selling a run-away maid for Dh3,500. Police then set a trap for him and sent their source to ‘buy’ the maid. They arrested the Indian defendant in July this year from the Al Qusais area. A 28-year-old Emirati policeman said the defendant had admitted to encouraging the maid to escape with the second defendant. “The Indonesian defendant used to search for absconding maids to lure them. They used to deceive girls to escape from their sponsors and then sold them to work in prostitution. They had deceived 15 other maids too,” said the Emirati policeman.

The trial is scheduled for November 1. Both the defendants remain in police custody.