10 accused of killing man in bootlegging turf war

DUBAI — A fight between two rival gangs over bootlegging resulted in the death of one man, a court heard on Thursday.

By Mary Nammour

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Published: Sat 16 Oct 2010, 12:09 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:26 PM

Fifteen workers were believed to have been involved in the fight, including 12 Indians, two Pakistanis and one Bangladeshi.

They were all brought to trial in the Court of First Instance, and charges ranged from premeditated murder, consuming liquor, working for other than the sponsor and failing to report a crime.

According to court records, 10 men were involved in killing the victim, an Indian national. He was allegedly hit repeatedly on different parts of his body, mainly on his head, with iron bars and sticks which the perpetrators carried when they went to see him. The incident took place on December 21 last year.

Two groups of rival bootleggers had met at the construction site of a villa in Jumeirah Village, Barsha, to settle a dispute. The body of the victim was later left near a dumpster which the police found the following day. The police found the body holding a bottle of liquor in his hands. Traces on the ground showed that the body had been dragged for about 30 metres.

An Emirati lieutenant, who was part of the unit which went to the crime scene, said that a piece of a shoe found in the place was a lead in the crime.

“We identified the owner of the shoes with the help of sniffer dogs. He is an Indian watchman, and one of the defendants,” the lieutenant said during investigation.

In his statement, the lieutenant said that the site watchman initially denied knowing anything about the murder.

“He then said that he was in his cabin with other workers and they saw several men engaging in a fight”.

The watchman told the police that he understood that the reason of the fight was a competition in bootlegging. About 10 men were seen hitting one worker fiercely, he said. “The victim was severely hit on his head with iron bars and sticks”.

The watchman, the lieutenant added, asked the gangsters to move the body away from his cabin. “He then moved it with his friends near a dumpster”. The watchman alleged that the main defendant warned to kill him if he informed the police about what had happened. “The watchman admitted that he had to cover the blood stains in order to cover the crime out of fear of the main defendant.” He, along with the others also burned the sticks used in the crime.

That watchman is on trial with four others on the charge of not reporting the crime.

The watchman told the police that one of the gangsters, the main defendant (a worker) beat the victim relentlessly to death. That worker was arrested in the Dubai International Airport before boarding a flight.

It was known that the victim’s friends, three or four men, ran away before engaging in the fight while he could not as he was intoxicated.

According to the forensic medicine report, the victim’s death was caused by a severe head trauma.


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