By Sunita Menon, Gulf News Reporter, 29, Oct 2006
Dubai: Two women who were duped into coming to the UAE on the pretext of being offered jobs and then forced into prostitution managed to escape from their "agents" yesterday.
A man who encountered them near the Kuwaiti Roundabout in Sharjah and asking motorists for a ride took them to the Sharjah Indian Association from where they were taken to the Indian consulate's shelter in Dubai.
"We were forced to entertain 23 to 25 men a day. I have three children back home and I came here to work as a cleaner. I have not been paid at all. I am also scared … what if I have contracted some disease," one of the women told Gulf News.
"I have got in touch with the Department of Non-Resident Indian Affairs in Kerala as well as the Indian Minister for Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi and gave details about the two women who were brought here on the pretext of being given jobs," said K.A Mathews, president of the Indian Association Sharjah.
Mathews said the women, both Indians, did not fly directly from Kerala to the UAE but came via a neighbouring country.
In a written statement to the association, the women ages 31 and 32, said they were married and had come to the UAE on September 10 on a visit visa.
The visas were provided by a travel agent for Indian rupees 10,000 (about Dh800) each. The agents whom they dealt with in Kerala had promised them jobs as cleaners in a hospital in the UAE.
One of the women said the news of her father's death forced her to revolt against the agents.
"Since I came here I have not called home, so one of the agent's men whose job was to guard us took pity on me and gave his mobile phone to me. I telephoned home only to hear my father had died.
"I desperately wanted to go home and asked the agent to give me my passport back. But he refused."
They were kept in a flat in Sharjah.
Ten days ago the women refused to entertain any more men. As punishment they were taken to a building near the Kuwaiti Roundabout and locked in a flat.
"For the first couple of the days the agents' men came with food, but later their visits stopped. Left alone, we planned our escape. We came across a screwdriver… slowly we unscrewed the lock and got out of the flat early in the morning. All along we kept our fingers crossed no one would come to the flat," said one of the women.