Caught in Shadows: Dubai Sex Trafficking Ring Preys on a Bangladeshi Teen. A Bangladeshi teen falls victim to Dubai sex trafficking ring.
Sinthia, a 16-year-old dancer from Dhaka, Bangladesh, was enticed by the prospect of a lucrative employment chance at a five-star hotel in Dubai in 2019. Seeking to support her family financially, Sinthia contacted her co-worker’s agent – Nirmol Das – to organize the journey. Nirmol introduced her to Mizan, the brother of Azim Uddin, a notorious sex trafficking ringleader known as Azam Khan.
Mizan enticed Sinthia by offering Tk50,000 a month to her family, along with a month’s advance payment. Sinthia was asked by Nirmol Das to pay Tk20,000 for her passport. Despite her initial co-worker’s promise of a cost-free trip. Surprisingly, she obtained the passport without encountering any problems or police verification, despite being only 16 years old.
In mid-2019, Sinthia boarded an Emirates Airline flight from Dhaka to Dubai. When she arrived, she was pushed into prostitution at Azam Khan’s City Tower Hotel together with 25 other ladies. Those who resisted the traffickers faced physical abuse, confinement, and scalding water. The victims suffered from malnourishment and did not receive the promised monthly payments.
Caught in Shadows: Dubai Sex Trafficking Ring Preys on Bangladeshi Teen
Sinthia and two other girls were rescued in June 2020 after requesting assistance from the Bangladesh Embassy in Dubai. They returned home, having endured the loss of their dignity in the Emirate. The victims disclosed that the trafficking ring had connections with the Bangladeshi police’s Special Branch. The branch was responsible for passport offices and airport immigration.
Investigations by local authorities in July 2020 revealed that Azam Khan’s sex trafficking ring had deceived thousands of Bangladeshi girls, offering them false promises of luxury and high salaries in Dubai, according to the Dhaka Tribune. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Bangladeshi police arrested Azam Khan and discovered his assets worth Tk300 crore in Dubai, including multiple hotels and a dance club. The CID also uncovered his involvement in leading five other sex trafficking gangs in India and Pakistan.
In September 2020, Sinthia shared her story with journalist Hasan Al Javed from the Dhaka Tribune, shedding light on the plight of trafficking Bangladeshi victims in Dubai. Her testimony underscored the urgent need for legislative reforms and concerted efforts to dismantle these criminal networks to protect vulnerable individuals.