Police Crack Prostitution Ring in Dubai
DUBAI (Albawaba) - Police in Dubai have arrested leaders of a prostitution ring and closed down hotels and travel agencies that helped the ring operate, police said Monday.
Police shut down 12 travel agencies in Ras al-Khaimah emirate, about 120 kilometers north of Dubai, for issuing travel permits to women from various countries for the purpose of prostitution, a senior police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Police also arrested ringleaders. All those arrested, including travel agents and hotel managers, will be put on trial, police said.
Some of the women arrested had already been deported on charges of immoral conduct but the ring organizers brought them back under false names and new passports. The police crackdown was sparked by a noticeable rise in prostitution in Dubai.
The officer said the travel agents who collaborated with the ring have damaged the reputation of all travel agents. He said Dubai would prosecute all violators of legal and social conduct to the full extent of the law.
Dubai Defense Minister, Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum ordered police to root out prostitution in Dubai, which has spread in the emirate, the officer said.
The source said the arrest of the ring was a big step forward in the police crackdown on prostitution and sends a warning to travel agents and hotel managers not to facilitate the work of prostitution rings.
In response to the police bust, the Ras al-Khaima civil airlines shut down travel agencies that were involved in the prostitution ring, pending investigation of the travel agents. Sheikh Salim Al-Qassimi, head of the Ras al-Khaima civil aviation department told the United Arab Emirates Al-Bayan newspaper that the department shut down 19 travel agencies in August after issuing 2000 citations to the offices for bringing in tourists who never left the country after their visas had expired. Al-Qassimi said several of the travel agencies were connected to the recently exposed prostitution ring. Al-Qassimi, said he doubts that those travel agencies would be reinstated. In August, Ras al-Khaima the civil aviation department stopped licensing new travel offices after several violations from travel offices in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). After the bust, police began focusing on the Russian tourism to the UAE that increased after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Police found that many Russian women who came to the UAE as vendors were actually engaged in prostitution. The government warned travel agents not to issue permits to Russian women who are 20 years old or younger, to avoid possible involvement in prostitution.
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