x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

2 took 6,000 rounds of ammunition from sheikh's stores, court told

Shells were stored at Jebel Ali shooting club and were worth Dh7,000, prosecutors say.

DUBAI // An employee of the Dubai royal family member and Olympic sport shooter Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum was charged this morning with stealing 6,000 rounds of ammunition from the Jebel Ali Shooting club.

Along with the the worker, AA, 32, Pakistani, a UAE Air Force Pilot, Maj OM, 35, was also charged with conspiracy and aiding and abetting.

Prosecution records show that AA took 1,000 rounds of 9mm shells and 5,000 rounds of .22 caliber shells worth about Dh7,000. AA works as a munitions caretaker for Sheikh Saeed.

Both men denied the charges in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance.

The crime, records show, was committed on August 27 and discovered on September 1 when the shooting club was auditing its stocks.

"I received a call from the shooting club manager, who informed me that 6,000 rounds are missing," the 51-year-old Pakistani shooting instructor MM told prosecutors. "After I recounted the stock again, I remembered that AA walked into the storage room with a trolley bag three or four days ago and told me that the bag belonged to the sheikh, and he wanted to see if it is usable for munitions storage or not."

The instructor reviewed surveillance footage and informed the club manager.

Jebel Ali Hotel security chief AR, 46, told prosecutors AA had clearance to enter the storage facilities because he was the munitions caretaker for the sheikh.

Police investigators told prosecutors that upon AA's arrest, he confessed to the theft and to selling 4,000 rounds to the pilot OM, who lives in Fujairah.

OM denied any knowledge of the theft, but said he knew AA and had helped him financially several times.

"In his testimony to us, he claimed that AA handed him 4,000 rounds as a gift. OM said that he gave AA Dh1,000 to help his financial situation," a police lieutenant told prosecutors.

Records show that OM said he kept the bullets for sport shooting purposes.

The court adjourned the case until February 19.

amustafa@thenational.ae