5 jailed for forcing handicapped compatriots to beg in UAE

5 jailed for forcing handicapped compatriots to beg in UAE

Dubai - The Pakistani accused had brought the victims as young as 14 on visit visas ahead of Ramadan.



by

Amira Agarib

Published: Mon 21 May 2018, 4:34 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 May 2018, 6:45 PM

Five Pakistani expats, who brought 14 physically challenged compatriots to the UAE to beg, have been jailed for a year and fined Dh100,000 each after they were found guilty of human trafficking. The Sharjah Criminal Court heard that the amputees and handicapped victims were housed in "difficult living conditions" in the country.
The defendants' lawyers had claimed in court that the beggars were not trafficked or forced to beg as charged by the public prosecution. They said the beggars knew they were being brought to the UAE for begging.
The Pakistani accused had brought the victims as young as 14 on visit visas ahead of Ramadan.
The court heard the statements of 13 victims, even as a 14-year-old boy, who was exploited by the gang, was receiving psychiatric treatment in a hospital.
The victims suffered from a range of disabilities, including hand amputations and congenital deformities. Nine of the victims were in their 20s and four in their late 40s. They could only speak their native language.
The victims were coaxed into training on how to earn people's sympathy so they could dole out alms. The victims said the defendants put them up in an accommodation in the industrial area.
During the court hearing presided over by Judge Mahmood Abu Baker, the victims said they were rescued after being arrested by the cops and were among the 35 beggars brought to the police station. On interrogation, the cops learnt that they were trafficked by the five Pakistanis.
During the police and prosecution interrogation, the defendants had confessed that they had brought people with disabilities from different parts of their home country, including a large number of amputees, to make them beg in the UAE. 
amira@khaleejtimes.com


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