Dubai: Six workers and a saleswoman have been jailed for five years each for getting three teenaged girls to Dubai using forged travel documents and forcing them into prostitution.
The three girls, all aged 17, met the 37-year-old saleswoman in Pakistan who convinced them to travel to Dubai in December 2017.
When the teenagers fell for the saleswoman’s scheme, she and her brother issued forged travel papers for the teens confirming they were above 18 and flew them into Dubai.
The girls were housed in a flat in Dubai that turned out to be a brothel.
An informant alerted Dubai Police’s anti-human trafficking department that several Pakistani men had brought in underaged girls into the city and were making them work as prostitutes.
Commissioned by the police to go to the flat and pose as a client seeking sexual pleasure, the informant went to the brothel as part of a sting operation.
Police raided the flat after the undercover agent was able to ascertain the goings-on in the flat and five men and a woman were arrested.
A seventh male accused managed to get away through one of the windows of the flat and police are on the lookout for him.
On Sunday, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the eight defendants, aged between 24 and 41, of human trafficking by sexually exploiting the teenage girls and making them take up prostitution.
According to the primary ruling, presiding judge Mohammad Jamal also convicted the defendants of running a brothel and making women work in the sex trade and profiting from the same.
Presiding judge Jamal said all the accused will pay a Dh20,000 fine each and the flat that was being run as a brothel will be shut down.
The eight Pakistani defendants will be deported.
The absconding 41-year-old defendant was sentenced in absentia.
The 37-year-old woman accused pleaded not guilty, unlike her countrymen defendants who pleaded guilty.
A 35-year-old accused said: “We ran the flat as a brothel and all the girls worked consensually. They used to get Dh50 per client.”
One of the teenagers said the woman accused lured her to come and work in Dubai as a prostitute.
“They falsified my travel papers in which they mentioned I was 18. I came her and went with the woman defendant to a flat where I stayed for several days. I used to get money from clients for sex until one day police raided the flat and arrested all of us. There were other women who were deported. I was taken to a special centre for women and children,” she testified.
Sunday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.