DUBAI // Three students posed as police officers in an attempt to stop an Emirates Airline flight attendant before assaulting and robbing him, a court heard yesterday. They were caught when police found a mobile phone that had been taken from their alleged victim on one of the gang, prosecutors said. MA, 20, a Yemeni, and Egyptians MO and MH, both 18, deny theft, impersonating public officials, assault and aiding and abetting a crime.
The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance was told they surrounded TL, a Myanmar senior steward, at 1am on October 3 as he was walking to a restaurant in Al Qusais. TL told prosecutors that MO approached him and engaged him in conversation and MH followed. The pair walked with him until stopping and chatting in a darkened area. "The first defendant [MA] popped out of nowhere, and then MO grabbed me from behind screaming, 'Take out your identification card, I'm CID'," TL told prosecutors.
He said one of the defendants grabbed his wallet from his hand and then started talking in Arabic. "I could not understand what they said, but I only understood 'mobile'," TL said. MA grabbed the mobile phone while MO kept hold of him, he said. At that point a car passed, and MO let go of him and acted as though nothing was happening. "I screamed for help, but the driver ignored me," TL said. He ran away, but was caught by MO, who punched and kicked him. Prosecutors said the only reason TL avoided being hurt further was because he screamed and shouted.
The defendants fled and TL informed the police, who were unable to find them. An officer testified that MA was being held in custody as part of another investigation when, as he was being released, he was handed his personal belongings, in which the stolen phone was discovered. "We asked him where he got the phone from, and he said that it was given to him by MO," said the officer. MO was arrested and questioned. According to police, he told them of the robbery and was placed in custody with the two other defendants.
The trial was adjourned until January 7. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org