An 18-year old Bangladeshi girl’s resolve to fight her offenders has resulted in freedom for several women who were forced into prostitution and held illegally by a group of Asian men in Dubai.
The youngster who worked in a garment factory in her native country and had the responsibility of running a household – comprising two younger siblings and mother - was lured to the UAE by Rahim. He promised her a job in Dubai if she learnt Arabic.
As she was earning only BDT2,500 (Dh112), she jumped at the offer and paid BDT7,000 (Dh314) for a certificate to prove she was well-versed in Arabic.
That’s when he demanded BDT130,000 (Dh5,838) in cash as fees towards processing her visa and tickets, which she duly handed over.
However, her nightmare began when she landed at the Dubai International Airport. She testified at the Dubai Criminal Court that a man – Suhail - received her at the airport and took her to an empty flat in Deira.
When she enquired about her workplace, he allegedly told her that she would be recruited only after the weekend and until then she could stay in that apartment where he lived.
When she began crying, he pacified her and asked her to talk to her mother in Bangladesh. Immediately after the phone conversation, he took her passport.
That’s when he told her that she was expected to work as a prostitute. When she refused, he beat her with a belt until she fainted.
She alleged that when she woke up a few hours later, she discovered that she had been raped and was bleeding.
Meanwhile, another woman – Sameera – brought her food and asked her to comply with Suhail.
She was later taken to another apartment and handed over to a guard where 12 women – Indians, Ethiopians, Indonesians and Bangladeshis – were being held.
They all told her that they worked as prostitutes and the guard collected the money.
There she entertained men before she was transferred to another flat and handed over to Raja.
Fortunately for her, one Indian visitor took pity on her. He noted her mobile number and alerted the cops.
The following day he brought an undercover agent who posed as a customer and spent some time with her. Meanwhile, police raided the place and arrested the guards, Raja and Suhail. The women were taken into custody as well.
Major Wisam Mohammed also testified that a man notified police about a Bangladeshi woman being confined in a brothel in Naif area.
An undercover operation by Dubai Police led to the arrest of three Asians who ran a prostitution den in Dubai. Several woman hostages were also freed. The Bangldeshi girl later learnt that she was brought to the UAE on a maid's visa.