Six men have each received life sentences for forcing two women into prostitution, one of whom lost her life trying to escape.
The six Bangladeshi men, aged between 25 and 44, bought and sold the two Indonesian women between themselves in November 2015. They locked the women in the rooftop room of a building in Dubai.
On Wednesday, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the six defendants of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, rape, kidnap and confinement, assault, running a flat as a brothel at the Dubai International City. Presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi also fined three of the defendants, a salesman, a jobless man and a businessman, Dh100,000 each.
The six accused will be deported after they serve their prison terms.
The six defendants were found to be part of an organised group of human traffickers.
Two of the defendants kidnapped the women from their sponsor’s villa in Al Rashidiya in 2015. They sold them to two other defendants who forced them into prostitution. The victims were also beaten and threatened if they did not cooperate.
One of the women locked in a seventh-floor rooftop room fell to her death while she was trying to escape.
Medical reports confirmed that the deceased woman died of a broken neck.
The defendants pleaded not guilty and denied the accusations of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
One of the defendants, aged 25, was quoted admitting to prosecutors that he was contacted by another defendant who offered to sell him the women for Dh2000.
“I disagreed and informed him that I only had Dh1,000 … the other defendant also wanted me to make the women work in the sex trade for a Dh2,000 monthly salary. Then he agreed to sell me the women for Dh1,000 and against a Dh1,500 monthly salary. The two women moved into my car and they were crying dearly. While we were in the car, the women told me that they had been raped by the other defendant who had sold them and one of his friends [also another defendant],” the 25-year-old was cited as telling prosecutors.
The ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.