Teen became sex worker to pay for dad’s heart surgery

Tailor accused of exploiting 17-year-old girl sexually, making her work in prostitution

Dubai: A tailor has been accused of sexual exploitation of a 17-year-old girl who needed money for her father’s heart operation.

The 17-year-old Pakistani girl’s father fell very ill and required a heart operation before she was allegedly lured by her cousin to work in flesh trade in Dubai to make quick money in July 2016.

When doctors informed her father that his operation would cost around Dh80,000, according to records, the girl arranged with her cousin to have a visa processed for her and her father and they came to Dubai last year.

After the girl and her father checked in at a hotel, the cousin and a 33-year-old Pakistani tailor failed to convince the sick father to allow his girl to work in prostitution to be able to arrange for the surgery fees.

The cousin and the tailor then managed to send the father back to Pakistan, according to records, and talked the 17-year-old in to working in prostitution.

Dubai Police’s anti-human trafficking department was informed that the tailor, the cousin and another Pakistani man had been exploiting teenagers and women sexually by making them work in prostitution.

Law enforcement officers commissioned an informant to pose as a client before police raided a hotel room and apprehended the Pakistani man and the 17-year-old girl in a sting operation.

Records showed the tailor and the female cousin absconded.

The Pakistani man was tried before the Dubai Court of First Instance which jailed him for five years, followed by deportation.

Meanwhile, the 33-year-old tailor remained at large for a few months before police apprehended him in July 2016.

Prosecutors accused the tailor of committing a human trafficking crime and sexually exploiting the teenager.

According to the charge sheet, prosecutors said the suspect abused the girl’s need for money to pay for her father’s operation and exploited her by making her work in prostitution and pocketing the money for himself.

The suspect showed up before the court on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.

“I did not exploit her,” the suspect told presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi.

The girl testified to prosecutors that she was forced to work in prostitution because she needed to money for her father’s operation following his heart attack in December 2015.

“My cousin convinced me to work as a prostitute in Dubai where she promised me that I would earn good money since my father’s operation costs Dh80,000. I had to do that because I love my father so much and wanted him to get the required medical treatment. When we arrived at the hotel in Dubai, my father strongly opposed the idea of me working in prostitution. Then they made him travel after his visa expired and I started working in the sex trade. The 33-year-old and the other man brought me clients to the hotel and they used to take Dh500 to Dh600 from each client. Then police raided the room and arrested the client and they took me as well,” she claimed to prosecutors.

Presiding judge Al Shamsi said the court will appoint a lawyer to defend the suspect when it reconvenes on April 26.