x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

British woman killed over gold, failed scam, Dubai court told

Two men have been accused of robbing and murdering a woman after she refused to buy into a fake investment.

DUBAI // A Syrian man stabbed his British girlfriend to death in her apartment at the urging of his friend, a court heard this morning.

MM, 25, denied persuading MK, 28, to commit the crime but confessed to overstaying his visa at Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance

The victim, MA, 50, lived in Bur Dubai, three blocks from where she worked in a four-star hotel. On May 27 last year, she did not report for work. Three days later, co-workers went to check on her and found her lying in a pool of blood, clothed only in her underwear.

Prosecutors say the killing came at the end of a troubled relationship and a failed scam attempt.

MK, from Syria, became romantically involved with MA, a divorcee, after meeting her at a nightclub. He gave her his CV to help him find a job after he was made redundant in August 2009. He had been living with MM since that date.

MK told prosecutors she loved him and did not want him to leave, so she kept his passport. Prosecutors say MK went to her apartment on May 20, and put sleeping pills in her coffee, but left after she did not fall asleep.

The next day he drugged her again and tried to take his passport, but she would not give it up.

Meanwhile, MK said, MM suggested he convince her to become a partner with them in a fake investment by paying Dh40,000. Then they would abandon her.

But MA refused to buy in and on May 23 MM told MK to kill her and steal her valuables and credit cards. MK testified that he refused and tried to drug her again instead.

Instead of passing out, however, she struggled with him, and he stabbed her several times with a knife from her own kitchen after losing his temper, records show.

He said she stood up and pulled the knife from her chest, then fell to the ground uttering words in English he did not understand. He took gold from her apartment and left.

The next day, he fled to Syria after handing the gold to MM to sell it through two other men, prosecutors say.

Those men, WM, 30, Syrian, and YH, 27, Jordanian, were charged with possessing stolen gold. They denied the charge this morning and said they did not know the goods had been stolen.

MK surrendered to Syrian authorities on June 1, 2010, and is still held in Syria.

The other three men will appear again in court on July 13.

salamir@thenational.ae