DAMMAM/RIYADH, Mar 15: The problem of runaway maids in the Kingdom is a widespread one; however, not all maids that disappear are runaways. According to the authorities, a significant number of maids are regularly kidnapped and forced into prostitution by expatriate workers, Al-Yaum newspaper reported.
Following a tip-off, members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice recently raided two apartments in Dammam where two Asian maids had been imprisoned and forced to work as prostitutes.
“One of the maids said she was living with her Saudi sponsor and had popped out to get something from a nearby shop when she was kidnapped by a taxi driver who raped her and then sold her to another expatriate for SR7,000,” said a commission member in Dammam. “The second expatriate took her to an apartment and forced her to work as a prostitute. She was prevented from going out and remained in that situation until we managed to free her,” he added.
The other maid said she was kidnapped by a group of Asian men while putting the garbage out at her sponsor’s home. “She had been forced to work as a prostitute at several apartments and had met many other maids who were in a similar situation,” said the commission member.
Meanwhile, police in Riyadh reported how a Bangladeshi taxi driver was arrested in connection with the kidnapping of several maids. The police said the driver had been kidnapping maids and then forcing them into prostitution for quite some time, reported Al-Riyadh newspaper.
“He would tell maids that he could get them better jobs and would ask them to run away from their sponsors and go with him. Then he would imprison them in an apartment and charge people SR300 to sleep with them,” said a police officer in Riyadh.
The man’s apartment was raided and a couple of maids were released. Police are still continuing their investigations to find further imprisoned maids.