Glamorous missing model feared trapped as 'sex slave' was actually found 'working as escort' in Middle East

A glamorous model whose mysterious disappearance sparked an international search amid fears she had been forced into prostitution has been found allegedly working as an escort in Jordan.

Maria Sazonova, 21, and a student friend vanished after telling her mother she had got job at a bar in the Middle East.

A search was organised after they failed to contact their families in Russia for a week and there were concerns that young women were being exploited by sex traffickers in the region.

Russian embassy officials confirmed that Maria and friend Viktoria Matveyeva, 20, were found in Jordan and were deported from the kingdom late Monday night.

Maria Sazonova (left) with her friend Viktoria supposedly in Bahrain airport on 3 March_last photo
Maria Sazonova (left) with her friend Viktoria supposedly in Bahrain airport
(Photo: East2West)

The women had vanished following a sighting at Bahrain airport.

Friends have now confirmed the pair – known as Masha and Vika – are “alive and well”, and claimed they were detained on allegations they were working as escorts in Jordan.

It is unclear if a man reportedly bringing wealthy clients for the women was also detained.

Dzhennet Mimun, director of Moscow-based Creepy Sweets model agency, for which Maria has worked, said: “She was arrested for providing escort services.”

She believed the two women were fooled into becoming “sex slaves”, possibly by a wealthy Bahrain man Maria earlier described as her “fiance”.

He was known to buy her expensive presents, said the model agency director.

Maria Sazonova
Maria and her friend were found in Jordan
(Photo: East2West)

She added: “Maria had two jobs, she was a model with us and she also had a job in burlesque striptease club. She worked both in Moscow and Yekaterinburg.

“But she suddenly got some rich ‘fiance’ and became very secretive.”

Maria also said ahead of her trip that she was planning to earn money in the Middle East.

The women first travelled to Bahrain before flying to Jordan, Russian media reported.

Mimun said: “From her close friends, I know that she went to Bahrain to meet her fiance who sent her expensive presents.

“He bought her an iPhone 7 recently, and she got some cash to spend. Maria kept saying that it was typical of Arab men.”

A Bahrain man identified by a Moscow newspaper as being in touch with Maria denied knowing the two women.

He he told Komsomolskaya Pravda: “There are many Russian girls among my friends. Many beautiful Russian girls come to Bahrain. They have different jobs here. But I have not heard names Vika and Masha, I know nothing about them. I don’t remember such girls.”

Maria Sazonova
Maria was deported from Jordan late Monday night
(Photo: East2West)

The Russian embassy in Amman confirmed that the women were deported from Jordan late on Monday.

They were earlier detained for “illegal labour activities”, said press secretary Taras Dobrovolsky.

Russian ambassador to Bahrain, Vagif Garaev, said of Maria: “We are investigating the circumstances around the missing Russian girl.”

The pair’s disappearance follows concern in Russia and Ukraine over women being trapped into underground sex industry jobs in Middle East countries.

Maria’s mother Irina had expressed deep concern for her daughter.

She said: “It never happened before that Maria went missing for such a long time.”

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