Sharjah: Runaway maids are turning to prostitution in order to support themselves during their illegal stay in the emirate, said Rashid Al Omrani, Attorney- General of Sharjah Public Prosecution.

As many as 518 prostitution cases and 10 human trafficking cases were recorded by the Sharjah Public Prosecution in 2012.

Absconding maids topped the prostitution cases referred to the public prosecution, said Al Omrani, in addition to some women who came to the country on a visit visa but in fact came here to work illegally in the sex worker industry.

The rising incidence of maids turning to prostitution has not gone unnoticed by Sharjah public prosecutors who are working to counter criminal activities, Al Omrani said.

The verdict in these kinds of cases according to UAE law is a jail term , fine and deportation, which is mandatory under UAE law.

Absconding maids are also playing a role in human trafficking cases referred by police to the public prosecution last year.

Investigation by the public prosecution showed maids were either falling victim to human trafficking or were willing to indulge in such activity, Al Omrani said.

Al Omrani explained that some maids also received strangers at the house of their sponsors which is illegal.