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04 March 2024

Dubai probes Mumbai designer's prostitution charge

By Mohammad El Sadafy

The Human Rights Department of the Dubai Police have registered a case and opened an investigation into reports that a Mumbai-based fashion designer was lured to the emirate with the promise of a job and then forced into prostitution.

She alleges she was held captive in a hotel room and raped repeatedly by several men.

The case, which dates back to May-June last year, only came to light when Indian tabloid Mid-Day reported last week that the victim in question registered her complaint with the Mumbai Police.

After Emirates 24|7 brought the report to the attention of the Dubai Police, Brigadier Dr Mohammed Al Murr, Director of Human Rights, immediately assigned officers to investigate the case.

Brigadier Al Murr told this website that victim's lawyer should communicate with Dubai Police – either with the Criminal Investigation Department or the Department of Human Rights.

Brigadier Mohammad Al Murr said: “The crime has already occurred, but if the accused is still in Dubai we will follow-up, monitor movements and make arrests.

He said that the victim can also contact Dubai Police.

"The police are everywhere , there are 10 police stations spread all over Dubai , police cars moving throughout the day and night in all locations. We also have awareness programmes in all languages​​, including Hindi, to educate against crime and for victims of crime," he stated.

Brigadier Al Murr also clarified that the investigation would look into whether the woman was complicit in the crime.

He said: "Throughout the period of three months during which the victim was raped, why did she not call the police? Why not contact the police while traveling from Dubai International Airport ?”

“Whatever the truth, Dubai Police will deal seriously with the issue,” Brigadier Al Murr stated.

The punishment for human trafficking is life imprisonment according to UAE Federal Law No 51 of 2006.

According to the Mid-Day report, a Mumbai-based boutique owner from the Khar area took the victim to Dubai on the pretext of giving her a lucrative job in a boutique she owned here.

The victim is a resident of Goregaon, a manager in a top real estate firm and a diploma holder in fashion designing.

According to her complaint, the accused took Rs10 lakh (Dh60,000 approx) to arrange her visa, tickets and accommodation.

On reaching Dubai, the victim’s passport was taken on the pretext of it having to be deposited at the reception of the hotel.

The victim alleges she was then confined to a 17th floor apartment and later four men barged into the apartment and started drinking.

The accused offered the victim Dh3,000 for sexual favours for the men and when she refused, she was assaulted.

The rapes then began and continued till June 27, after which the victim was sent back to Mumbai.

After recovering from the trauma, she contacted a lawyer and filed a police complaint.