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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

British salesman fined for selling stolen watch for Dh572,000

Timepiece was one of 13 stolen during raid by masked thieves at a Palm Jumeirah apartment

A British salesman who sold a stolen watch for Dh572,000 has been hit with a fine of Dh5,000.

The Richard Mille RM 11-03 Limited Edition was one of 13 luxury timepieces - worth a combined value of Dh4 million - snatched by masked thieves during a raid on an apartment in Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, on February 13 of this year.

Dubai Criminal Court heard that the raiders - who remain at large - burst into the apartment of the victim, also a Briton, and threatened his 25-year-old brother and a maid with a knife and a screwdriver.

The pair were ordered to lie down on the floor while the offenders took the man's phone and struck the Filipino maid before carrying out a search of the property.

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 felt that the attackers had left.

The man called his brother, who owns the apartment, and told him about the armed raid.

“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 Dh624,000 and Dh642,000 but weeks after the theft, its market price increased to Dh760,000.

The thieves were not found but police tracked down the watch in the possession of a Jordanian businessman in Dubai, who had bought it from the salesman for Dh572,000 on May 8 of this year.

When police apprehended the accused in September, he said he had been away visiting the UK at this time, but police soon discovered he was lying about his whereabouts.

In court, he denied a charge of possessing stolen goods but was convicted and fined Dh5,000.