No matter how dodgy those massage cards seemed — with all the obscene photos of women plastered all over them — many UAE residents still fall for the racket, the police have revealed in an interview with Khaleej Times.
The number of victims — some of whom were beaten, stripped down to their undergarments, filmed naked, and robbed at knifepoint — has been rising. And the police attributed the spike to two factors: Many of these people are too embarrassed to report such an incident. Others fear the legal implications of trying to get an illegal massage.
However, those who are brave enough to file a police complaint have horrifying stories to tell.
Hani, a restaurant manager in Abu Dhabi, was one such victim. During one of his trips to Dubai, he dialled up the number on a massage card he found on his car window.
“A woman with a soft voice answered the call and sent the location. When I arrived at the apartment, three African women forced me to enter and asked me to pay first. When I refused, I was assaulted,” he told Khaleej Times.
Hani was beaten black and blue until he was forced to give them his bank PIN numbers. And when they found zero balance in his account, they threw him off a first-floor balcony. He reported the incident to the police, who then arrested the gang on the same day.
“I had sustained minor injuries and fractures but I now feel better. My message to all young people is this: Do not fall for the pictures on the cards —you won’t meet those same women,” he said.