Times of Oman
Help us stamp out prostitution: Royal Oman Police
August 16, 2017 | 9:19 PM
by Khadija Alzadjali / [email protected]
100 women of different nationalities were arrested for soliciting customers and breaking laws
 
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Muscat: Oman’s police force has called on landlords to help them in the fight against prostitution.

The force appealed to property owners in Al Khuwair, Muscat, to check who they rent to after police raids yesterday led to the arrests of 100 women for alleged prostitution.

Read here: 100 Asian and African women arrested in Oman on prostitution charges

A Royal Oman Police spokesman also warned residents not to solicit for the sake of their health and to avoid legal repercussions.

“(Owners of) residential places and rental properties should always make sure they are not used as prostitution houses,” the spokesman said.

“The Criminal Investigations Department of the Bausher Police Station arrested 100 women of Asian and African nationality for prostitution,” he added.

The spokesman stated that police officers arrested the suspects after they were found in public places trying to engage in prostitution with men in return for money.

“We received information on houses with suspicious activity and so we sat and monitored these locations. Once we had confirmation that the area was active, we took action and arrested the women,” the spokesperson said.

Thirty five of the 100 women were also charged with breaking residence rules and labour law violations.

“Aside from the act itself, these situations have the potential for diseases. Customers of these women must understand that being present in such locations at these times can expose them to legal issues,” the police spokesperson said.

The defendants were arrested, charged and referred to Public Prosecution to complete the investigation.

One Omani woman said that she sees the prostitutes at night every time she visits her grandmother’s house in Al Khuwair.

“They come out between the hours of 8pm and 10pm, and they flood the streets. Hotels have started to double up on security guards outside during weddings, but it’s still scary,” the witness said.

According to the 23-year-old, she sees men with the prostitutes, but isn’t sure if they are working with them or customers.

“Don’t allow your kids to run around the area late at night, especially when you’re there for a wedding. They are all over the streets and even in the alleyways so you can never know what is really happening,” she said.

Salim, an Omani who travels frequently to Al Khuwair, said the area has high levels of prostitution.

“They have their own spots and so when the police show up for a bust, they hide in the alleyways,” he said.

Last September, the ROP rescued 21 Thai women from the forced sex trade in brothels in Al Khuwair after residents in the area complained.

According to the Omani Penal Code Article 220, anyone who incites, by coercion or menace, a person to commit debauchery or prostitution, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for three to five years. If the victim is under 18 years, the sentence shall not be less than five years.

Article 221 says anyone whose living is based, in whole or in part, on a third party’s earnings from debauchery or prostitution, either under his protection or influence, shall be sentenced to imprisonment from three months to three years and fine from OMR20 to 100.

Article 222 says that the same penalty as above shall be applicable to any person who manages a place for debauchery or prostitution or assists in its establishments or management.

A sub-clause for the same article states that anyone who practices debauchery or prostitution against payment or not shall be sentenced to imprisonment from three months to two years.

The women arrested yesterday have been charged and referred to Public Prosecution to complete the investigation, the force spokesman said.


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