Dh18,550 flushed down toilet of Dubai-bound plane
The police did not find the stolen cash when they searched the plane.
A steward stole Dh18,550 from three brothers' wallets as they were attending to their sick father on a Dubai-bound flight, a court has heard. After realising that the theft had been discovered and the police informed, the defendant allegedly flushed the stolen cash down the plane's toilet.
As the 37-year-old Egyptian stood trial at the Dubai Court of First Instance on Wednesday, he was charged with theft at the workplace.
Public prosecution records show the incident took place on June 21 and reported to the police station at the Dubai International Airport.
One of the brothers, a 43-year-old, said: "My two brothers and I were flying business class and were on our way back from Bangkok. Our father, who was flying business class, too, suddenly fell ill. We left our belongings and wallets on our seats and went to check on him."
When they returned to their seats, the brothers found cash missing from their wallets. "A total of $2,600 (about Dh9,500) and Dh9,000 was stolen from our wallets. A stewardess took us into the first class kitchen and took photos of the bills that were still with us in other bags because they had the same serial numbers as the stolen ones," he told the prosecutor.
When the plane landed, the police were called in. "Our baggage and wallets were seized. The police did not find the stolen cash when they searched the plane."
Another brother, 35, recounted during the investigation how the police instructed them not to touch the bags or wallets after the incident was reported. "I learned later that a fingerprint lifted from a bill in my brother's wallet matched with the defendant's. We had spotted him earlier purchasing a perfume worth about Dh1,000 from the duty free goods that were being sold on the flight. We had not discovered the theft then."
The same flight steward was seen "constantly coming" to the business class even though his duties were restricted to the kitchen at the back, the complainant said.
A policeman said they issued an arrest warrant against the defendant after a report from the general directorate of criminal evidence and criminology showed his fingerprints were picked up off a bill. "The police apprehended him as he was about to enter the airport on July 24. He denied the theft at first, claiming he was helping the travellers with their bags and he must have touched the brothers' belongings. But he later confessed. He admitted he had disposed of the bills in the toilet after the police were informed and before the flight landed."
The accused denied to the police that the bank notes found with him were the complainants'.
The trial was adjourned to November 11.
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