Saved from a life of slav­ery

Tourist tricked by hu­man traf­fick­ers in Dubai flies home af­ter es­cap­ing her cap­tors

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - @alial­shouk By Ali Al Shouk

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.