• Saturday, Dec 14, 2019
  • Last Update : 09:09 pm

Sold for Tk6 lakh

  • Published at 11:08 pm April 15th, 2019
Web_Escom-Rajib
The office of m/s m overseas, where the victim was allegedly duped into believing she was getting a job, while in reality she was being sold to a brothel Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

A Bangladeshi woman, promised a lucrative job, ends up in a Dubai brothel

He took Tk2 lakh from her, and Tk6 lakh from the man in Dubai who would destroy the woman’s life.

The man and his associates who did this still walk free, while their 24-year-old victim has suffered fraud, repeated rape, humiliation, and harassment. They also threatened the woman several times for pursuing legal action.

She was promised a job in Dubai in exchange for a substantial amount of money.

Instead, the victim was sold to a brothel in Dubai and raped several times. She returned to Bangladesh with the help of the Consulate General of Bangladesh in Dubai, December last year.

The 24-year-old, who is now struggling with mental trauma, said the brothels are run by Indians and Bangladeshis who still hold a number of girls, most of them from the subcontinent. A number of Bangladeshi travel agencies sent some of the girls there, she said.

Cheated and sold

The woman said she wanted to go to the Middle East to work and financially contribute to her family.

She decided on her plan in October last year, after being introduced by a girl named Sufia, to Md Mohsin Ali, the mastermind of this crime, at M/S M Overseas, a travel agency in Nayapaltan.

Mohsin Ali owns the travel agency, and is registered with the government, licence number RL-1261. He talked to the victim, convincing her he could get her a worker’s visa to Dubai.

“He gave me a visiting card asking me to contact him when I made up my mind. Eventually I decided to go to Dubai with their support,” she said in the statement.

After the victim contacted Mohsin, he assured her she would get a job in Dubai within two months. A month later, he called her to the office and offered her three jobs to choose from. The victim chose a job at a hospital. She was told it would cost her Tk2 lakh.

On November 1 that year, she gave him Tk1,30,000 and the rest of the money she handed over on December 10.

“They did not give me any air tickets or other documents. On December 12, Mohsin took me to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, where I met another girl named Sumi. We boarded the aircraft on a tourist visa,” she said.

In Dubai, an Indian man who called himself Anna received them at the airport. Soon after, the victim realized how she had been betrayed.

Immediately, they were taken to a house and a Bangali girl named Kajol and another girl snatched away their money, passports, and mobile phones.

The next morning, Kajol took her to the first floor of the six-storey building, where she saw nine other girls, who were also trafficked from other countries and were waiting for ‘customers’ to arrive.

The victim got frightened and asked about the hospital where she was supposed to work at. Anna told her that it was a mini brothel and he had bought her from Mohsin, for Tk6 lakh.

“I was forced into a room with a Bangladeshi youth. I begged him to save me and gave him my sister’s phone number, requesting him to contact her,” she said.

The victim said that in the next two days she was drugged and raped by a number of people there. After two days, the Bangladeshi youth came back with a man who introduced himself as a Bangladeshi consulate official. They let her talk to her sister over the phone.

“Later, local police raided the place and rescued me and Sumi. We were then sent back home,” she said.

Justice sold away?

The victim’s father filed a case with Paltan Model Police Station on December 19, 2018, under the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act (PSHTA). After returning home, the victim gave a statement before a magistrate, describing what had happened to her.

The victim’s father said that after his daughter called him, they contacted Mohsin and asked him to bring her back. He did not respond. He then called the Bangladesh Consulate General in Dubai.

The consulate moved on the brothel and rescued the Bangladeshi girls from there. They were sent back to Dhaka on December 17, he said.

In the case statement, her father said the accused persons - Mohsin Ali and his associate Main Uddin - were members of an international trafficking gang. Their associates in Dubai bring girls from several countries for prostitution.

Before leaving for Bangladesh, the victim also filed a complaint with the Bangladesh Consulate General. The Consulate forwarded a letter to the Inspector General of Police, requesting him to take necessary action.

After the victim came back to Bangladesh, she filed a complaint with the Paltan Police Station in February 2019, saying the defendants were pressuring her and her family over the phone to withdraw the case. They were threatening and offering money as well.

“I was followed by some men in Shantinagar of the capital on January 27, who threatened me to not proceed with the case,” she had said.

The two parties appear to have decided on an agreement to withdraw the case. A deed of compromise was made on March 4 this year. A Dhaka court has held a hearing on the matter.

Mohsin and Main Uddin surrendered, posting bail at a Dhaka court on January 28.

The Investigation Officer of the case, Sub-Inspector Md Alamgir of Paltan Police Station, told the Dhaka Tribune that police sent the victim to a One-stop Crisis Centre (OCC) for a medical examination.

“Doctors found the girl was raped several times. We have started our investigation and the victim has given a statement describing the ordeal she went through,” he said.

After the parties decided on a compromise agreement, the court forwarded that to the police and asked for further investigation.

“I found the facts to true,” the SI said.

Police filed a final report with the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal. The court will decide whether the investigation will continue or the proceedings will be scrapped.

Contacted, the victim told Dhaka Tribune she did not want to spare the culprits.

“My father pressured me to do that. I had no choice,” she said, adding that she suspected her father had gotten money from Mohsin.

Her father did not want to talk to the Dhaka Tribune, saying he was ill.

The principal accused in the case, Md Mohsin Ali, claimed he only bought tickets for the victim. He supposedly had no idea of where she went.

“I do not know this other girl Sufia you are talking about,” he said.

Mohsin claims he has no connection to any human trafficking gang.

“Police has found me innocent. I am running my agency business,” he said.

Asked whether he had offered any money to the victim’s father to sign the agreement, he denied any such transaction.