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Man held in Syria over Dubai murder

The Syrian boyfriend of a British woman found stabbed to death in her Dubai flat has been arrested in Syria after an international manhunt.

DUBAI // The boyfriend of a British woman found stabbed to death in her Dubai flat has been arrested in Syria after an international manhunt by UAE and Syrian authorities. The Syrian man, MA, was questioned by police after the bloodsoaked body of 50-year-old Maria Esilan was found by work colleagues at her Mankhool flat last Thursday.

She had been stabbed repeatedly with a knife, police said. Work friends, concerned that she had not reported for her job as a training manager job at Dubai's Four Point Sheraton hotel, discovered her body lying in a pool of blood after a security guard helped them to enter her flat. Dubai police, Interpol in Abu Dhabi and Syrian authorities coordinated the arrest. Three others, suspected of accepting jewellery from MA to sell, were also arrested.

MA left the UAE for Syria a day after Ms Esilan was killed, police said, adding that the murder was motivated by theft. "Upon questioning, the suspect admitted he had killed the woman after getting into an argument, said Brigadier Khalil al Mansouri, the head of the Criminal Investigation Department. "After he failed to drug her he stabbed her with a knife and stole jewellery and his passport, which was with her."

Dubai police said MA was currently being held in Syria but did not reveal whether he had been charged with any offences in relation to Ms Esilan. wissa@thenational.ae

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