x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Farmer denies secretly filming up women's skirts at supermarket

Prosecutors say Egyptian hid video camera inside a shopping basket then pushed the basket under legs of women with short skirts.

DUBAI // An Egyptian farmer accused of using a mobile phone to film under the skirts of women at a supermarket in Deira City Centre has been charged with sexual assault. MA, a 29-year-old resident of Ras al Khaimah, allegedly secretly filmed four women, all of whom were shopping at the Carrefour hypermarket. Prosecutors say he concealed his Nokia mobile phone, which was equipped with a video camera, inside a sock that had a hole in it. He placed the device inside a shopping basket, approached women dressed in short skirts and pushed the basket under their legs, they say.

The defendant, who denied the charges in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday, was arrested after being spotted by security guards at the hypermarket. A police corporal stationed at the shopping centre told prosecutors that Carrefour security staff had alerted police to a man behaving suspiciously near the women's clothing section. The man was observed entering the section, placing the phone inside a sock and slipping it beneath female shoppers, the officer said.

"We saw him approach four women and place the phone and basket under their skirts and move the basket to capture the best images," the officer said. "A policeman was sent to apprehend him and check the images on the phone." Two video recordings that prosecutors said contained the defendent's recordings and closed circuit footage showing him placing the phone in a sock and filming the women were presented as evidence in court.

The case was adjourned until Sunday, when the court will hear witnesses' evidence. He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison if found guilty. The case is the most recent in a string of similar incidents. A Filipino accountant was sentenced to six months in jail last month after being convicted of sexual assault for filming his female flatmates with a concealed iPhone. A supermarket employee was also given a three-month sentence in March after filming female co-workers in a toilet at their workplace.