Aspiring air hostess was held captive in Al Ain for refusing to work as maid
A brother’s desperate tweet to the Indian external affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has led to the rescue of his sister who was held captive in Al Ain by a human trafficking gang last week, media has learnt.
“Need help for rescuing my sister from UAE. She went to UAE for a job on 14th but now locked up in a room. Please contact,” read Dev Tamboli’s first tweet to Swaraj on the night of August 21.
“She has been kept captive with some other girls. And are even beaten Pls help,” Tamboli, who works in Qatar, tweeted again.
The following morning, the Indian minister tweeted back promising to intervene.
“I have asked our ambassador in the UAE to help. He will speak to you and do the needful,” read Swaraj’s tweet at 11.53am on August 22.
Tamboli said minutes after Swaraj’s tweet, he got a call from Indian envoy to the UAE, T.P. Seetharam.
What followed was a concerted effort by Al Ain Police, embassy officials and some Indian community leaders to find the victim and rescue her from the trafficking ring.
At 8.30pm on the same day, Swaraj tweeted to Tamboli with the good news: “We have rescued your sister with the help of local police. She is being moved to a shelter home run by the Indian embassy.”
“My sister is safe now and soon after finishing some formalities, she will be sent home..I am thankful to UAE and Indian authorities for all the help,” a relieved Tamboli told XPRESS over the phone from Qatar.
Armed with a stewardess training certificate, Swati (name changed) had come to Dubai with dreams of becoming an air hostess. Instead, the 33-year-old landed a baby sitter’s job, and worse, was forced to work as a housemaid in Ajman.
“When she refused, her agents beat her up. After two days, she was taken to Al Ain where she was locked up along with around 10 other girls,” said Tamboli.
“They took her SIM card. Luckily, she had another SIM card and she used it to contact our family in India,” he said.
Following the intervention of India’s external affairs minister, and with the help of the Indian embassy, a case was filed and Al Ain police swung into action.
According to Tamboli, the agents sensed trouble and tried to whisk the girls to Oman.
But the quick-thinking Swati outsmarted her agents.
“My sister told me she picked up a fistfight with the men and managed to run away. She hid behind bush on the roadside and remained there until she was rescued by the Al Ain Police,” said Tamboli.
The Indian ambassador T.P. Seetharam confirmed the incident but refused to divulge details of the rescue operation. He also did not comment on the fate of the other girls.
“The police is investigating the matter. I can only confirm that the victim is safe, and we are making arrangements for her safe return home,” he told, reports Gulf News.