x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dh11m gold robbery planned from foreign jail, police say

Gang breaks into International City jewellery shop by renting out the property next door and burrowing through an adjoining wall.

Gang, including these six men, breaks into International City jewellery shop by renting out the property next door and burrowing through an adjoining wall.
Gang, including these six men, breaks into International City jewellery shop by renting out the property next door and burrowing through an adjoining wall.

DUBAI // Saturday's Dh11m gold heist was planned from a prison cell in another Gulf country, Dubai Police said yesterday.

Brig Gen Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansoori, the head of Dubai's CID, said the raid on a gold shop at Nakheel's International City had been months in the planning, and "masterminded by a suspect who is currently imprisoned in a GCC country".

Nonetheless, he said, the gangsters suspected of carrying out the crime had been arrested within 24 hours.

The gang had rented a store behind the gold shop and carefully cut through the wall using iron rods and other tools, which took "a substantial amount of time", Brig Gen Al Mansoori said.

"The men were very skilled in the operation," he said.

"They took advantage of the calmness of the area and the lack of people around it."

CCTV cameras in the shop were not able to clearly capture images of the men as they broke through the wall in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Having got in, they let in the rest of the gang - who had arrived earlier by taxi - and started pillaging the shelves, with one man remaining outside as a lookout.

After packing the gold into a specially prepared case, the gang fled by taxi to another emirate.

As soon as police were alerted, a task force was set up and all border ports were put on watch to ensure the gold did not leave the country.

"Our team managed to identify one of the suspects and he was arrested in another emirate," Brig Gen Al Mansoori said. The other men were picked up a few hours later, he said.

He said police had recovered all of the stolen gold.

The men have now been referred to the Public Prosecutor's Office to face robbery charges.

amustafa@thenational.ae