LONDON // A man who was held a gunpoint in a brazen daylight robbery as he withdrew two suitcases containing £2million (Dh11.4m) in cash for visiting members of Dubai's ruling family described his ordeal in a London court yesterday.
Abdulla Shakeri, who has worked for the Dubai royal family for the past six years via his company UK Mission Enterprises, told Isleworth Crown Court that he had organised to collect spending money for members of the family on holiday in the UK from the Knightsbridge branch of Emirates NDB on the afternoon of June 24. Trevor Mair, 46, and Johnathon Haynes, 36, deny charges of robbery and having a firearm with intent.
Mr Shakeri told the court that he had loaded one suitcase, containing £1m in cash in bundles of £50 notes, into a waiting diplomatic car with the help of his driver and two bank staff, and was about to load the second case when he heard a voice behind him saying: "Put it down, put it down, or I'll shoot your face."
He described the man as Middle Eastern in appearance, but with an English accent, and wearing a black jacket and sunglasses.
The armed man ordered Mr Shakeri and the two bank workers into a nearby branch of the clothes shop H&M before beckoning another man wearing a high-visibility jacket and hard hat, according to the prosecution, who allege the second man was Mr Mair. The men then walked off with the cases, the court heard.
Mr Mair was seen "minutes later" by a police diplomatic protection squad about to load the suitcases into a car in nearby Cadogan Square, the court heard. He fled when the officers tried to stop him but was later apprehended. Mr Haynes, who was in the driving seat of the car, was also arrested and the money was recovered. A hardhat and high visibility jacket was retrieved from the vehicle along with several mobile phones and a Glock self-loading pistol was found in a flowerpot outside a house on the square the following day. A third suspect - the gunman - is still at large.
The case continues