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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Employee who stole from Dubai Duty Free for father’s operation loses appeal

Moroccan said his only option to get the money for his ailing father was to steal it but he was caught trying to leave the country through Abu Dhabi airport.

A Dubai Duty Free employee convicted of stealing money to cover life-saving surgery for his father lost his appeal and will have to see out his prison term.

“I was an exemplary employee for several years but had no choice since my father urgently needed life-saving surgery,” said the 32-year-old Moroccan to judges at Dubai Criminal Court, which sentenced him to three months in jail.

He appealed the sentence and told Dubai Court of Appeal that he admits to the first mistake he has made in many years of service.

The defendant was arrested as he tried to leave the country from Abu Dhabi Airport.

Prosecutors said that on April 1, he collected money from the section where he works at Dubai Duty Free at Dubai airport.

He then headed to the toilet where he took Dh22,778 of the money before handing the rest to the accountant, where it was all meant to go.

“I only took the amount needed for my father’s surgery, and I wouldn’t have done it if it was not an emergency,” the Moroccan said.

“Every other way in my path was blocked - this was the only thing I could think of to get the money. I am a father of two and I am their only provider, your honour.”

A Dubai Airport security officer received a call from the accountant informing them that the profit from the defendant’s section was missing some cash.

“I checked the cameras and saw the defendant checking the profit then taking it in a bag and heading to the restrooms,” said Egyptian security officer, adding that he then told police.

Police checked the defendant's details and found that he was in Abu Dhabi airport trying to fly to Morocco. He was arrested at the airport and the money never got to his father.

He was fined Dh22,778 and will be deported after serving his prison term.

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