15 people go on trial for robbery worth millions in Dubai
Picture used for illustrative purposes alone
Dubai - Those, who are accused of possession of the stolen money, claimed before the panel of judges they were doing business with the other accused and were not aware the money was ill-gotten.
Three men and a woman, together with other accomplices on the run, were charged in the Court of First Instance on Thursday with attacking two Pakistani men and robbing them of millions in different currencies, belonging to their sponsor.
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11 others, including another woman, are being accused in the same case of possessing the stolen money.
All of the defendants, from Nigeria, are currently in detention.
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The main accused, a 31-year-old worker, was not present in court to face the charges. The others, of ages ranging between 26 and 41 and among them are two businessmen and two managers, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Those, who are accused of possession of the stolen money, claimed before the panel of judges they were doing business with the other accused and were not aware the money was ill-gotten.
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A 34-year-old Afghani sales executive said that his sponsor gave him while in Afghanistan large amounts of money on May 9 to bring to Dubai. "I traveled with 4.8 million Saudi Riyals, Dh312,000, QR45,600, KD49,779, and Rs1.5 million. My flight landed at around 10:00pm. Two men, who also work for my sponsor, were waiting for me at Terminal 2 of the Dubai International Airport. They took the cash which was kept in a suitcase and a bag," he said.
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The two other men went to a money exchange office in Iyal Nasser, Naif. But few minutes later, the sales executive learnt they lost the money after they were attacked and robbed.
A Pakistani accountant, 26, said that his sponsor wanted the amounts of money to be converted into dirhams. "We were outside the money exchange office in Freej -al- Murar at around 11 pm when two African men- one of them carrying a cleaver attacked us and snatched the bag and suitcase of money from us. Two other Africans were watching the place and seemed ready to step in to assist the other thieves. We reported the robbery to the police," the accountant told the prosecutor.
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On May 17, they were summoned to the Criminal Investigation Department where he identified two of the thieves.
The police tracked the thieves through the CCTV cameras of a shop where the robbery took place. "They were caught on surveillance cameras fleeing the scene. We issued a circular on their descriptions and the stolen cash," a police lieutenant said.
Two of them were arrested in Ajman.
The hearing has been adjourned to November 10.