x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Filipina businesswoman murdered over debt, Dubai court hears

An indebted Filipino businessman man threw his creditor out of a window and stabbed her to death before hiding her body in the trunk of her car and driving off to have dinner with his wife, a court heard today.

Prosecutors say R?A, from the Philippines, murdered his compatriot Lorna Lim Varona, because she was pressuring him to repay a debt. Courtesy Varona family
Prosecutors say R?A, from the Philippines, murdered his compatriot Lorna Lim Varona, because she was pressuring him to repay a debt. Courtesy Varona family

DUBAI // A businessman threw his creditor out of a window, stabbed her to death and put her body in the boot of her car before driving off to have lunch with his wife, a court heard today.

Prosecutors said R?A, 49, from the Philippines, murdered his compatriot Lorna Lim Varona, 51, on August 28, because she was pressuring him to repay a debt.

They said he stabbed the businesswoman in the stomach and threw her through the window of a flat. He went downstairs and, finding her still alive, finished her off by stabbing her in the neck.

After the killing, he took the keys to her green Jaguar S-Type, shoved her in the boot and drove off to his house in Al Rigga where he had lunch with his wife, the court heard.

He later drove the car to Sharjah’s Industrial Area 11 and dumped it. Police found it a week after Ms Varona was reported missing.

Officers said they were told by the dead woman’s husband that her debtor was one of the last people to have spoken to her on the phone.

“The husband told us that the suspect did not seem surprised when he heard that Ms Varona had disappeared,” testified M?A, 29, an Emirati officer with Sharjah Police. “The husband also said that there was a financial dispute between them.”

Ms Varona’s husband told police that she had taken the businessman’s passport as a guarantee that he would repay the loan. He took police to the businessman’s home.

“We found the same brand of cigarettes in his house that were in the abandoned car,” the officer said.

At first the businessman denied killing Ms Varona but after five hours of interrogation he confessed, police said.

“She ruined my life and my family’s life with her financial demands,” he said, according to a police copy of his confession.

“I had to take my children out of school due to our worsening financial situation. I planned to kill her two weeks before but I was not successful.

“On the day of the incident I convinced her that there was a Korean businessman who was looking for a business partnership with her and that he was willing to pay my dues, so she agreed to come to my flat in Al Karama.”

The confession goes on to say that during a heated argument he went to the kitchen to get a knife.

Ms Varona fought to take it from him but he cut her hand, causing her to scream.

“I stabbed her in the stomach but it was a superficial cut and she was standing near the window, so I decided to throw her from it.”

After driving to Al Rigga with the body he sat down for lunch with his wife, but “I could not finish my meal. I was too nervous so I decided to leave”.

In court the businessman denied a charge of premeditated murder.

The next hearing was scheduled for July 1.

wissa@thenational.ae