Watchman on trial for locking up policemen

DUBAI — A watchman of a car repair workshop in the Al Rashidiya area, who allegedly locked up two policemen and a client, has been charged with illegal confinement, the Dubai Criminal Court heard yesterday.

By Mohsen Rashid

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Published: Mon 12 Nov 2007, 8:39 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:36 AM

According to court records, the 35-year-old Kenyan watchman, identified as J.M., on July 4 this year, confined policemen G.S. and M.S., and a client F.G. inside a car workshop compound.

The client F.G. had lodged a complaint with the Al Rashidiya Police alleging the workshop manager had forcibly seized his belongings that were inside his vehicle, which he had taken to the workshop for repairs, the court was told.

Acting on the complaint, two policemen accompanied the complainant in a patrol car to the workshop. As soon as the three entered the workshop, the watchman allegedly closed the workshop’s gate and locked it from outside.

The policemen told the court that the complainant, after buying a car from an agency, discovered some manufacturing defect in it.

He reported the matter to the car agency which asked him to take the car to the workshop that belonged to the owner of the car agency.

For the complainant to go about his daily business, the car agency manager gave him another vehicle. But when he went to take possession of his car after repairs, and handed over the key to the agency’s vehicle, the manager demanded payment of car rent.

When the complainant refused to pay the car rent, the workshop manager took forcible possession of his belongings, including the passport, other documents and a mobile telephone.

The complainant then lodged a complaint and two policemen accompanied him to the workshop to investigate the matter. But by then the workshop manager had left for the day.

The court was told that when the watchman informed the manager on the phone about the arrival of police, the latter apparently ordered him to close the gate and not allow them to go away.

The watchman obeyed the command and locked the two policemen and the complainant inside the workshop.

It was then that the policemen contacted the Dubai Police Operations Rooms. The message was relayed to the officer in charge of Rashidiya Police Station, who rushed to the scene and ordered the watchman to open the gate.

Ultimately, the two policemen and the complainant were rescued and the watchman was taken into custody. He was then charged with illegally confining the complainant and the policemen on duty.

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