Aisha, whose real name is Lusine Hakobyan, is one of the most notorious pimps in Dubai . She is known among prostitutes for being cruel and slovenly. Like most Armenian pimps she first came to Dubai as a prostitute herself, but quickly worked her way up to boss. She got her Arabic nickname from a local man. Aisha has multiple scars on her wrists. "She told me once that her boss was very cruel to her, and that's why she tried to commit suicide," said K. from Charentsavan, one of Aisha's victims. "But I don't think there is anyone crueler than she is. She beat us and forced us to work even on the days when it wasn't possible to have sex. I used to cry and tell her that I couldn't do anything, but she would throw me out of the house, and say, 'Get to work!'" K. is now in her second year as a prostitute in Dubai , and has no hopes of returning to Armenia ; Aisha tore up her passport. We tried to persuade K. to go to the police.
"I am afraid. You know, a couple of our girls went to the police. Their boss paid money to Omar, and he got them out of jail, and brought them back. The girls were beaten until they almost died," said K.
A year ago, Aisha renting an apartment from an Arab named Khalet. But Khalet cheated her, borrowed a big sum of money and never paid it back. Since then, Aisha has been working with Omar.
Omar is from Yemen. He finds fake visas for Aisha's girls and takes care of their problems with the police. Salem , an officer in the Raffa Police Department, is Omar's connection there.
Posing as American tourists in the Hotel Metropol, we asked Aisha about Khalet. We told her that we were old friends who were looking for him. Aisha told us that we could find Khalet at the pool hall in the Titanic Building where he often spent the evening.
Aisha is in Dubai on a resident visa, which gives her permission to work. "She told us that the visa was made by Khalet and Omar," K. told us. "But she said that the visa is fake, and she is afraid that she might be arrested." says K from Charentsavan.
According to our sources, Aisha is currently in Armenia and has already been questioned once by the Prosecutor General's Office. Months ago, when she was being pursued by the Armenian authorities, she met with prosecution representative Aristakes Eramyan in Dubai . He told her to go back to Yerevan . "Aisha told us that she had to go to pay off the prosecutors, so she could come back, " said A. from Yerevan , another one of Aisha's victims. Lusine Hakobyan was once arrested in Armenia , in 2003. She paid off the authorities and was released.
"In Armenia, the girls are recruited by Lusine's mother, Hasmik. She lives in Abovyan," K. told us, the second time we met. "She and her boyfriend Spartak, known as Spo, go through the villages looking for girls from poor families. They persuade the girls to come to Dubai . So actually the mother sold us to her daughter.
"There was a girl with us, her name was Nelli. She ran away later. She was an orphan," K. continued. "You know how they brought her here? That Spo had a friend from Abovyan called Armen. They registered a fake marriage between him and Nelli. They came to Dubai together. Nelli stayed and Armen went back. That's how Armen brought girls to Aisha on several occasions."
"When I first came, I thought Dubai was a paradise, but now I know that it's hell on Earth," says Arus, who works for a pimp called Nano (nicknamed Horse). Arus is a prostitute in one of Dubai 's rabochkas (a Russian word meaning a district with a lot of workers). Those girls who can't make money anymore in discos and bars are taken to rabochkas, where they charge $3, $5, or $10.
Their clients are construction workers from abroad; they can service up to fifty men per day. Arus is now working in a r abochka , under Aisha's supervision. She has no documents, and no idea how things will turn out in the end.