Four minor Bangladeshi girls, who were forced into sex work, were rescued from a nightclub in Dubai by police, a court heard on Tuesday.
The victims, aged between 16 and 17, were brought into the UAE at different times last year to work as dancers and sex workers at the nightclub in Al Muraqabbat, reported Gulf News on Wednesday.
Earlier in March, police raided the nightclub and found 19 women and five traffickers after being alerted that a teenager was working as a dancer in the nightclub who looked underaged.
“All the women were working as dancers and prostitutes,” a police officer told Gulf News. “Four of them were under the age of 18.”
“We raided the place and rescued the victims who were referred to a Women and Children’s Shelter in Dubai.”
“The defendants [traffickers] brought the victims using passports with older ages to enter the country,” added the officer.
The five defendants, aged between 20 to 39, were charged with human trafficking. However, they denied the charges in court, according to the Gulf News report.
One of the four Bangladeshi victims, aged 17, said she agreed to come to Dubai to help support her family at home.
A man arranged her passport and paid her money to arrive in the country and later she was taken to a house with other girls, she said.
“Four days after arriving in the country, they took us to the nightclub and told us that we will work as dancers,” the victim said, adding, “I agreed to work as a dancer because my family is poor and needed money.”
The trial will resume on June 18 to hear the witnesses.