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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 November 2018

British salesman accused of selling stolen watch worth Dh500k

The Richard Mille RM 11-03 Limited Edition watch was among 12 other watches with a total value of Dh4 million that were stolen from an apartment on the Palm Jumeirah

A British salesman has been accused of selling a stolen watch worth more than Dh572,000.

The Richard Mille RM 11-03 Limited Edition watch was among 12 other watches with a total value of Dh4 million that were stolen from the apartment of another British man in Palm Jumeirah on February 13 this year.

According to court records, masked thieves – both still at large – came to the man's apartment and threatened his brother, 25, a student, and maid with sharp weapons. The watch owner was not in the apartment at the time of the incident.

“One was holding a screw driver and the other — who was very tall and has a strong build – carried a knife. They both spoke with a British accent,” said the student.

He told prosecutors that the pair took him and the maid to the bedroom and had them lie down on the floor.

“They were asking about the 'things', but I didn’t know what things they were talking about. Then one of them snatched my mobile phone and guarded us with the knife while his accomplice searched the place,” said the student.

The Filipino maid said she was in the bathroom when a masked man opened the door and pulled her by the hair.

“He hit me with a solid object — which I didn’t see — on my left shoulder and took me to the bedroom,” she said.

The student and maid stayed in the bedroom for some time until they realised that the attackers had left.

“I immediately called my brother who owns the apartment. When he arrived, he checked his bedroom on the second floor and found his 13 valuable watches had been stolen,” said the student.

The watch owner told prosecutors that when the watch was stolen from him, it was valued between £130,000 (Dh624,000) and £135,000 but weeks after the theft, its market price increased to £160,000.

Although the thieves were not found, police were able to track down the watch in the possession of a Jordanian businessman in Dubai who had bought it from the accused for Dh572,000 on May 8 this year.

When police apprehended the accused in September, he said he had been away visiting the UK on May 8, but police discovered this to be untrue.

He denied a charge of possessing stolen items at Dubai Criminal Court. The next hearing will be on November 14.