Photo used for illustrative purposes Source: Irish Times

An Arab woman is on trial for offering her underage daughter's virginity for sale in Sharjah, a city in the United Arab Emirates, local media reported last week. 

Sharjah Police organized an ambush and successfully arrested the woman and her three female accomplices, all of whom confessed to the crime.

According to Khaleej Times, the unidentified woman, reportedly a sex worker, and her accomplices have been charged with human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

The mother had put her daughter's virginity for sale for 50,000 dirhams ($13,600) and a gold necklace, advertising the offer among friends and relatives.

When authorities were informed of a possible human trafficking case, they sent a police officer to pretend to be a buyer and meet up with the daughter at a hotel, according to Emarat Alyoum

The undercover officer paid 50,000 dirhams via her mother's accomplices, who also solicited money in exchange for sexual favors.

Soon after, police arrested the culpable women and referred them for prosecution. 

The daughter testified that her mother had forced her to meet a man at the hotel in exchange for money. The mother and her accomplices have confessed to the crime, and the case has been referred to the criminal court. 

Emirati law stipulates a minimum fine of 100,000 dirhams ($27,000) and a minimum of five years in prison for human trafficking. The penalty could reach a life sentence if the victim is a child or a person with special needs.

According to the law, "human trafficking includes all forms of sexual exploitation, engaging others in prostitution, servitude, forced labor, organ-trafficking, coerced service, enslavement, begging and quasi-slavery practices."

The UAE has been working to combat human trafficking through legislative amendments as well as awareness programs. 

In 2015, the Dubai Judicial Institute and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime launched an anti-trafficking diploma, which teaches employees investigative skills, along with methods to protect and rehabilitate victims.

As a result, the number of human trafficking cases in the country dropped from 25 to 16 between 2016 and 2017, according to The National.