x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Dubai man 'wanted $2.5m for ancient ring with sexual powers'

Man who tried to sell what he claimed was an ancient ring that would endow its owner with sexual prowess appears in court after sting operation finds fake currency in shop.

DUBAI // A salesman wanted US$2.5 million in return for what he claimed was a 4,700-year-old magical ring that could endow its owner with sexual prowess, a court heard today.

Prosecutors told the Criminal Court that AM, the 45-year-old Egyptian owner of a herb shop, asked his friend AH to find him a buyer for the ring. He was seeking $2.5m in total and $600,000 as an upfront payment.

The friend started advertising the ring and it came to the attention of a police informant. A sting operation was then arranged in which an undercover officer arranged to meet the friend in a room at Al Madar building in Al Nahda on June 12 this year.

The friend met with the officer, who was posing as a buyer, at 9pm. The officer told the friend he wanted to negotiate the price of the ring, and the friend then called the salesman, who told him he could not negotiate over the phone.

The friend and the undercover officer then went to meet the salesman, who agreed to reduce the price of the ring to $1.7m.

The officer made the upfront payment, but asked the salesman to sign a receipt.

One hour later a police team arrested both the salesman and his friend. They also confiscated the ring, along with a letter certifying that it was genuine, from the salesman's shop.

They also found a fake hundred dollar note and a fake 500 Euro note at the shop.

During interrogation the salesman said he bought the ring for 150 Egyptian pounds.

The salesman denied a charge of possessing fake currency. He was released on bail and told to appear in court again on October 8. His friend was not charged.

The ring remains in the possession of police. Court records did not mention what would happen to it.

salamir@thenational.ae