An elderly businessman has been accused of running a brothel at a flat where girls as young as 15 years were made to work as prostitutes.
Two Bangladeshi girls, aged 15 and 16, were said to have been flown in to Dubai on the pretext of being hired as beauty salon workers in April 2015.
The girls arrived in Dubai separately and were taken to the flat, according to records, before they were beaten up and forced to work in the sex industry and were taken to a spa where they were also offered to render sex massage.
At one stage, the 16-year-old girl ran away from a group of Bangladeshi men who had brought her in to Dubai and coerced her into the sex trade. She then walked into a police station where she informed officials about her ordeal.
Preliminary investigation led to the arrest of two Bangladeshi men who were accused of exploiting the teenaged girls.
The Dubai Court of First Instance jailed one of the Bangladeshi men to seven years in jail and acquitted the other.
Meanwhile, a 62-year-old Chinese businessman was later found to have rented the flat where the girls were being kept.
Police apprehended the Chinese man and referred him to the Public Prosecution.
Prosecutors accused the 62-year-old of running the brothel and allowing a number of girls to work in prostitution.
On Wednesday, the Chinese suspect showed up before the court and pleaded not guilty before presiding judge Ahmad Mohammad. “I did not run a brothel,” he said.
The 16-year-old girl claimed to prosecutors that the Bangladeshi defendants tricked her and brought her to Dubai after having promised her to work in a salon.
“When I arrived, they took away my passport and accompanied me to a flat in Mankhool … they made me stay with a Chinese woman and other Asian females [young girls and women]. Later, I was told by the other women that the Chinese woman was their pimp and they worked for her in prostitution and sex massage. I refused to do that but the Bangladeshi defendants beat me and coerced me to work in sex trade. They threatened to have me jailed for 10 years if I refused to work in prostitution and sex massage … and that was why I was forced into doing something against my will. Later they moved me to another flat that was being run as a brothel … One day, I ran away. I took a taxi and headed to the police station and told them about my sex ordeal,” she testified to prosecutors.
A team from Dubai Police’s human trafficking department raided the flat and saved the 15-year-old girl and other females who were being forced into prostitution.
The 15-year-old Bangladeshi girl gave a statement similar to that of the 16-year-old.
An anti-human trafficking police lieutenant claimed that following the arrest of the Bangladeshi defendants, they discovered that the flat had been rented by the 62-year-old, who was also apprehended and referred to court.
The trial continues.