UAE: Seven jailed over naked blackmail kidnap
A court in the United Arab Emirates has sentenced five women and two men to prison for kidnapping a Moroccan manicurist and filming her naked in a bid to extort ransom money from her family.
The court found the defendants guilty on Tuesday of kidnapping the 29-year-old in September last year, while she was waiting for a taxi in the al-Nahda area of Dubai, The National reported.
The manicurist was taken to a nearby flat, where her kidnappers beat her and forced her to strip naked on camera - the video was then sent to the victim's brother in Morocco.
"When I asked her what she wanted from me, she said money," the victim told the court.
"I told her I did not have money, but she told me that my brother was rich because he owns a business in Italy," she added.
The kidnappers threatened to upload the video online if her brother failed to pay a ransom of $700,000.
"After the phone call, one of the women called for three men to come into the room then told them to rape me but, when they saw that I had my menstrual cycle, they refrained from doing so," the victim said.
Two days after receiving the call, the manicurist's brother gave in to the kidnappers' demands and sent the ransom, however, he also contacted a friend in Dubai to report the attack to police.
Police raided the flat where the victim was being held.
"The female defendants were smoking shisha in the living room while the victim was alone in the bedroom. I checked the building's surveillance camera and saw as the victim was forced inside by the defendants," a police officer told the court.
Three Moroccan women have been sentenced to three years in prison for the kidnapping, while another two Moroccan women and an Ethiopian women have been sentenced to two years for aiding and abetting by keeping the victim hostage.
Two men have been sentenced to one year in jail for aiding and abetting - and all of them will be deported after completing their sentences.