A court in Uzbekistan has sentenced four women to eight years in prison each for trafficking young Uzbek women to Malaysia and forcing them to work as prostitutes, local media reports said on Monday.
The Sergeli district court in the capital Tashkent found the women guilty of organising a criminal group and recruiting people for sexual exploitation by means of deception, podrobno.uz news website said.
The victims, up to 23 years old, were promised jobs or marriage opportunities in Malaysia, but upon arrival were forced into prostitution at brothels on Penang island.
“My earnings, depending on the appearance of a girl, ranged from $200 to $500,” one of the convicted women said in the court according to podrobno.uz.
Victims were allowed to go home after they had earned back “the deposited money”, the report said.
Women from Uzbekistan were often trafficked to Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, Thailand, India and Middle Eastern countries for sexual slavery, but now the destinations have extended as far as Malaysia and Costa Rica, according to observers. - Sapa-AFP