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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Court upholds tourist’s three-year term for Rolex con

Defendant said he was drunk, sought acquittal

A British tourist sentenced to three years behind bars for stealing another Briton’s Rolex watch worth Dh36,000 and his passport must complete his term, a court ordered on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old denied charges of theft and trespassing when he appeared at the Dubai Criminal Court and told judges he was drunk when the incident occurred.

The court convicted and sentenced him to jail to be followed by deportation. It also fined him Dh500 and ordered him to pay a temporary compensation of Dh21,000 to the victim.

The defendant told the court that he and a fellow Briton were visiting Dubai. Both men were intoxicated, he said and asked why the other man’s word was believed instead of his.

Prosecutors said that the 45-year-old British manager wanted to sell his watch and was given the defendant’s contact by a friend.

The two agreed to meet at the victim’s hotel and went up to his room so the defendant could check the watch.

“He used a violent tone ordering me to hand over my watch then forced me to unlock the safe and snatched my passport from inside. He said he would return the passport if I paid him ‎£30,000,” the manager said.

He said the defendant scattered white powder on the table saying those were drugs to prevent him from calling the police. He then left the room and sent a text message about the money.

The manager called police who arrested the defendant two days later identifying him from the number plate of the car he drove to the hotel.

The accused appealed the sentence in August of the lower court and sought acquittal but the Dubai Court of Appeal upheld the verdict.