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Oman police arrest 100 in prostitution, sex trafficking crackdown

A residential street in Muscat, Oman (Shutterstock)
DUBAI: Scores of expat women face jail after being arrested on suspicion of prostitution in the Omani capital, Muscat.

The arrests were part of a crackdown on vice, which police say is being controlled by gangs of expats, UAE daily The National has reported.

The women were arrested in the Al Khuwair district of Muscat – an area with a high population of foreign nationals.

Now local police have appealed to landlords to report when they suspect prostitution is being carried out in their properties.

Last week’s arrests followed a series of complaints from residents.
“We conducted many raids in the last two years on privately rented buildings in Muscat that are used for prostitution purposes,” a police spokesman was quoted as telling The National.
And he said there were regular patrols in hotspot areas.
The spokesman said the police were also focusing on combatting sex trafficking and said landlords should report any illegal activity.
According to the police spokesman about half the women arrested were illegal migrants, the others were registered as domestic walkers, but who had fallen under the control of the gangs.
Prostitution in Oman carries a three to five-year sentence, while traffickers can be jailed for up to 15 years.

Now Oman is considering reducing the staying time on tourist visas for Southeast Asian women to 10 days from the current 30.
Under the proposals the women would have to provide evidence of their intention to leave the country, such as a return air ticket, as well as proof they are staying in a minimum four-star hotel during their stay the police spokesman said.

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