x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Man asked burglars 'to steal inheritance'

Trio accused of Dh1.7m theft from villa Pair claim grandson orchestrated break-in because he felt his mother had not been given her fair share of family funds.

DUBAI // An unemployed man has denied asking two friends to break into his grandfather's house and steal Dh1.7 million to make up for the inheritance he believed his mother was owed. In the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday, the 35-year-old defendant BM, an Emirati, denied any involvement with a break-in at his 77-year-old relative's villa in Bur Dubai on March 24 of this year.

Another unemployed Emirati, H J, 34, and a Yemeni carpenter Y A, 28, admitted breaking into the house, butH J denied tying up a Sri Lankan housemaid and locking her inside a room as the prosecution claimed. He said the maid had been asked to sit quietly while the men stole Dh1.4m - not the Dh1.7m cited by the prosecution. The two men told the presiding judge El Saeed Bargouth that they broke into the home because they had sympathised with B M's plight when he told them that his grandfather had not given his mother the money owed to her from a family inheritance, whereas his aunt had received her share. The pair also claimed B M was concerned about the amount of money his grandfather would give his maid.

H J and Y A alleged that B M promised them a portion of the inheritance money in return for their help. They claimed that he gave them details about how to get around his grandfather's property. Prosecutors said that B M had filmed the entrances and exits of his grandfather's villa to help H J and Y A familiarise themselves with the layout. H J allegedly gained entry to the house by telling the maid that he was a police officer. He is then accused of binding her hands and feet, causing her to be left tied up for four days as B M's grandfather was away at the time of the burglary. The grandfather was said to have found the maid behind a closed door after hearing her cries for help upon his return.

Prosecutors claimed Y A had entered the villa by removing a window air-conditioning unit. The pair then allegedly used a rented car to take the grandfather's safe to a deserted location, where they forced it open using wrenches and other tools. The case was initiated by the Family and Juvenile Prosecutors' office after the grandfather told investigators he suspected his grandson had orchestrated the theft. A police investigator told prosecutors that B M was carrying more than Dh6,000 in cash when they located him and had a further Dh921,000 in his safe.

Police said they recovered Dh374,000 from Y A's home when he was arrested. The court adjourned the case to an unspecified date. 

balqabbani@thenational.ae