Dubai: Six men have been jailed five years each for sexually exploiting an absconded housemaid and forcing her into prostitution.

The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the six men of committing a human trafficking crime by exploiting the poverty of the Filipina housemaid and forcing her into the sex trade.

Presiding Judge Maher Salama Al Mahdi said: "The six accused will be deported following the completion of their jail terms."

According to the charge sheet, prosecutors said the defendants violated the human trafficking law by exploiting the fact that the housemaid absconded from her Emirati sponsor's house before they coerced her and forced her to have sex with strange men for money.

When the defendants; a driver, two jobless men, a cook, a visitor and a businessman, appeared in court they refuted the accusations and pleaded not guilty.

The girl testified that she ran away from her sponsor's residence because he complained as to why she went to the hypermarket without his permission.

She claimed during questioning that she met one of the defendants, A.A, and stayed at his place shortly after she absconded.

The 31-year-old said she was forced to work as a prostitute because she did not have her passport as it remained with her sponsor.

"I was walking down Oud Al Mutainah Road when I met one of the defendants," she told the court. "The driver [] stopped his vehicle in front of me. When he learnt about my destitute situation he offered to help me. I had to have consensual sex with A.A. because I did not have a shelter or hideaway. Then he and another defendant sold me after a few days to the cook and the businessman in Ras Al Khaimah for Dh2,000. I was coerced and forced into the sex industry. Then they sold me for Dh5,000 to a buyer who turned out to be an undercover policeman," claimed the woman.

Yesterday's judgment remains subject to appeal within 15 days.