Dubai: A father and a mother were jailed for forcing their 16-year-old daughter into prostitution by selling her to a businessman, who paid Dh16,000 to have sex with her.

The Dubai Court of First Instance jailed the 38-year-old Pakistani father, K.A., for five years and his 35-year-old wife, S.K., for three years because they exploited their teenaged daughter sexually and coerced her [emotionally] to have sex with strangers.

The 16-year-old girl had earlier cried when she confronted her parents in court and testified how they sold her body for Dh16,000 to overcome poverty.

“My father sold my virginity because he wanted me to help our family not to stay poor anymore. He and my mother forced me to work in prostitution,” said the Pakistani teenager.

Prosecutors said K.A. and S.K. of human trafficking by exploiting their parenthood and coercing their daughter into the sex industry.

The court also handed the mother six additional months in jail for working in prostitution.

According to Thursday’s ruling, presiding judge Ezzat Abdul Lat jailed two Pakistani men, 40-year-old A.H. and 19-year-old M.S., for two years each for running a flat in Al Mankhoul Area as a brothel.

They were also found guilty of benefitting financially from a number of prostitutes and guilty of developing a website on which they uploaded nude and indecent photos of sex workers to promote prostitution.

The Pakistani businessman, M.Y., who had sex with the teenager, was jailed for one year.

“The flat will be shut down for good and cannot be reopened unless after obtaining prosecutors’ permission to do so and for legitimate purposes. All the accused will be deported after serving their punishments,” said presiding judge Abdul Lat.

The five defendants entered a not guilty plea.

The girl told the court: “We are poor and my father coerced me to come with him to Dubai… he told me that if I work in prostitution, we would become rich quickly. He became angry when I refused. I was forced to accept because I was under severe emotional pressure.”

A.H. contended in courtroom seven that he worked as an accountant. “I did not run a brothel. A Pakistani man hired me from Faysalabad for Dh2,000 salary. I had nothing to do with the women, who worked as prostitutes in the flat,” he said.

“Who was the first customer who had sex with you? And did he know that you had not yet become a woman?” presiding judge Abdul Lat asked the teenager.

Pointing to M.Y., the girl replied: “It was that man. My parents and A.H. took me to M.Y. in a hotel room. He asked me to undress, but I was nervous and cried and begged him not to do that to me. Then he threatened me saying that he would take back the Dh16,000 that he had paid my father if I refused to surrender myself to him. I cried and begged him not to take the money… I removed part of my clothes. When he insisted, I asked him to allow me to call my father. When I spoke to my father, he told me not to sadden M.Y. Yes he knew that I had not yet become a woman and he told me that he paid Dh16,000 for that particular purpose.”

Prosecution records said a police informant posed as a potential client and the parents were arrested in a sting operation. The suspects were taken into custody.

“A.H. and M.S. used a mobile phone to take photos of me and the other women naked or half dressed to put the photos on the internet and lure clients,” the girl told the bench of three judges.

Thursday ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.