x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

45kg of man's 210kg gold luggage stolen at Dubai hotel

Five Nigerian men have confessed to the crime of stealing the 45kg suitcase of gold worth Dh8 million.

DUBAI // A man who arrived in Dubai from Mali carrying six suitcases packed with 210kg of gold plates was robbed while checking into a Deira hotel, a court has heard.

Five Nigerian men on Thursday confessed to the crime of stealing the 45kg suitcase of gold worth Dh8 million: DA, 42, ES, 27, EE, 26, AS, 28, and FA, 30.

The Malian man, AN, told prosecutors he arrived in Dubai at 3am on December 21 with two other friends.

He claims he was followed from the airport by the Nigerians. As he was standing at the reception of his hotel to check in, he said he was shoved from behind and a man grabbed the suitcase and ran from the hotel.

"I tried to chase him but when I reached the hotel's entrance, two men appeared. One of them hit me on the head before they fled," said AN, adding that he got up and resumed his chase and saw the thief getting into a red car with the bag of gold.

AN called police and told them getaway car's plate number. The car was traced to a rental office in Sharjah, and police reviewed the hotel's surveillance cameras to get clear images of the defendants.

The men were arrested at their apartment in Sharjah, where some of the gold plates were found hidden in a stereo.

A police officer told prosecutors a further 10 gold plates were found at a shipping office -the defendants were tying to courier them to their families back home.

No explanation was given for why the man was carrying such a large quantity of gold.

A verdict is expected on March 11.

salamir@thenational.ae