Saved from a life of slavery
Tourist tricked by human traffickers in Dubai flies home after escaping her captors
A holiday to Dubai turned into a terrifying ordeal for this young tourist after she was kidnapped and held against her will by a prostitution gang.
Vietnamese national Najin was imprisoned for five days in a villa in Al Rashidiya, where she witnessed other women having sex with men for cash. She was told she too would have to sleep with men for money - but refused.
However, she managed to escape and with the help of Dubai Police has now flown back to her home country, while officers prepare a case against those accused of taking her prisoner.
Najin had come to Dubai after being invited to visit the city by a friend. She told prosecutors: “My friend arranged a visit visa for me but she wasn’t waiting for me when I arrived at the airport.
“I called her and she gave me her address, asking me to take a taxi. When I arrived at the flat it was locked. She called me saying that she had to leave the UAE on urgent business.”
Outside the apartment, Najin came across another Vietnamese man, who offered to help.
“He offered to let me stay in his house,” she said. “Only later did I discover it was a brothel.”
When she arrived at the Rashidiya villa, four men and a woman, all Vietnamese, locked her inside a room for five days until she managed to contact her mother by phone.
“There were other women and men in the place having sex,” Najin said of the ordeal.
“I kept refusing their demands despite them threatening to beat me and keep me locked inside the room.”
Unknown to her captors, Najin had a phone and managed to call her mother in Vietnam. When her captors realised what had happened, they panicked, drove her to the airport and left her there. Officials found her hysterical at the airport. Embassy officials had earlier raised the alarm and General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Chief of Dubai Police for Criminal Investigation, said they were already looking for Najin when they were notified about the airport incident on June 26. He said: “We managed to trace the gang and arrested them at a house in the Rashidiya area.” Reem Al Amiri, a communications officer at the police’s Victim Care Department, was tasked with looking after Najin after her ordeal. She said: “I tried to calm her down as she was terrified by what had happened. I coordinated with her embassy to send her back home.” Just over a week after her escape, Najin boarded a flight home. The suspects in the case are expected to face charges of false imprisonment and human trafficking, police said. Tackling human trafficking has been highlighted as a priority by UAE authorities. Last year, more than 50 suspected human traffickers were arrested and 24 victims were rescued in the UAE. Newspaper and radio adverts in a range of languages, including Hindi and Tagalog, have been run and leaflets have been distributed at airports to raise awareness.
‘She was terrified by what had happened to her.’ – Reem Al Amiri, Dubai Police
GOING HOME: Reem Al Amiri, from Dubai Police, with Najin (right) at Dubai International Airport