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Bahrain vice ring suspects arrested in Nepal

MANAMA, March 24, 2015

A human trafficking ring operating in Nepal reportedly forced women to work as dancers in nightclubs in Bahrain, it has emerged.

The women from villages in Nepal were ‘recruited’ by middle-men who promised them jobs with good pay in Middle Eastern and African countries, but when they arrived at their destinations they were forced to work as dancers and exploited, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

Seven suspects have been arrested by Nepalese police following a tip-off from women who have been rescued in Kenya by the International Organisation for Migration.

They have been charged with human trafficking and the country's deputy inspector general Hemanta Malla Thakuri said the suspects had built a large network over the years with known operations in Bahrain, Oman, the UAE, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Malaysia, according to online news portal eKantipur.

"They ran their enterprise as if it was a modelling agency," Thakuri was quoted by the news website.

"They picked the girls, conducted photo shoots and sent their pictures to 'agents' in destination countries."

He said rogue manpower agencies would then select the women and cough up between BD600 ($1,579) and BD1,300 as advance payment to the suspects.

"Once the women reach their destinations, they are put to work in bars," he added.

"Every day they are given an earning target that they have to meet."

An official from the Nepalese Embassy in Juffair said he was aware of the arrests in Kathmandu, but refused to provide details of victims in Bahrain.

However, a leading Nepalese community leader told the GDN they were still dealing with cases of young women tricked into travelling to Bahrain and forced into prostitution.

"We encountered several cases before the three-star hotel ban on alcohol and live entertainment was enforced last year," he said on condition of anonymity.

"There were three bars where Nepalese dancers and waitresses worked but they have been shut down after the decision.

"However, we know these women are still in Bahrain and suspect they are involved in prostitution.

"These women were promised good jobs back home by the 'agents' and when they arrived here they were forced to work as dancers or waitresses in discos."

According to latest figures, there are more than 30,000 Nepalese nationals living in Bahrain. The GDN reported on March 16 that the Labour Market Regulatory Authority planned to launch a national hotline dedicated to helping human trafficking victims.

It aims to address different complaints submitted by Bahrain's expatriate community, which makes up more than half of the population, such as physical abuse, withholding of passports, non-payment of wages and other labour violations. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Nepal | arrest | Vice | Suspect | ring |

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