DUBAI — A 23-year-old Nigerian woman created a scene in a court, screaming and falling on her back on her own in protest, when the presiding judge sentenced her and a 30-year-old compatriot woman to five-year imprisonment each for human trafficking.
The two were convicted by the Court of First Instance of forcing three women into prostitution and ordered to be deported after serving their jail terms.
The protesting convict screamed and shouted that the jail term would ruin her life. More women police officers were to be called in to control the ‘raging’ woman, as Presiding Judge Fahmi Mounir Fahmi had to cut short his pronouncement of the verdicts and leave the courtroom.
According to the prosecution records, the two Nigerian visitors forced three women compatriots into the flesh trade after luring them to Dubai with job offers. Upon their arrival in the city, they seized their passports and visas and forced them, under beating and assault, to have sex with men for money.
They also held up the victims in their apartments to sexually exploit them.
They faced charges of human trafficking and illegal confinement. The 23-year-old defendant was also accused of indulging in prostitution.
One of the complainants, aged 18, told the prosecutor that she lost her virginity when she was forced to have sex with one of their customers.
She said she came to Dubai after a woman in her home country offered her a job here. There, she received a passport, visit visa and travel ticket for which she did not pay a dime.
She arrived in Dubai International Airport in September last year and was picked up by a man who dropped her at the first defendant’s (the woman who created a scene at the court) apartment in Raffa.
The latter welcomed her and then told her that she would work as a prostitute.
She also told her that she would have to pay her $15,000 or Dh60,000 they had spent to bring her here and for her accommodation. She was made to have sex with men at the defendant’s place or at the men’s apartments and sometimes at hotels. The defendant used to take her to nightclubs and pick up men to have sex with the complainant.
She was not allowed to get out of the apartment as the defendant kept the key with her always. She managed to run away with the other victims on December 15 last year after the two defendants dropped them at a hotel.
They called the police and they were told to go to Raffa police station.
The other victims, aged 29 and 31, gave similar statements during police and Public Prosecution interrogations.
Another victim said that she was beaten up and denied food every time she resisted going out to meet a man.
All three women victims had bruises at the time when the complaint was filed.
The second and third woman also said that they were told to work as prostitutes until they could pay back Dh60,000.
An Emirati lieutenant said the police raided the first defendant’s apartment as soon as they received the complaint.
The first defendant admitted that she was indulging in prostitution but denied forcing the women into prostitution.
The second accused claimed that she worked in a beauty salon and that two of the alleged victims shared the same accommodation.