x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Thieves target businessman carrying $4m

Robbers targeted an Afghan businessman at Dubai airport in an attempt to steal four million US dollars

DUBAI // Thieves targeted an Afghan businessman who arrived at Dubai airport carrying US$4 million, a court heard today.

The businessman's cousin and partner MS, a 24-year-old from Afghanistan, parked his black Range Rover at Dubai International Airport when he went to pick him up in July.

While he waited in the arrivals hall, his compatriot HK, also 24, and a number of other men who have not been identified cut the vehicle's tyres and attempted to break in, the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance heard.

However, airport employees spotted the men and contacted police. HK denied the charges.

MS told investigators that his cousin had been carrying $4m "for business purposes" and that the men must have known this in advance. He said the amount was in cash because transfer services were not available between the two countries.

MS said the family's wealth had made them a target before. A relative was once killed in Afghanistan when the family failed to pay a ransom to kidnappers. "The Afghan government provided us with protection following that incident," MS told investigating policemen.

The court heard that HK had been deported twice before. Investigators said he used forged passports and fake identities to return to the country.

A verdict is expected on March 27.

salamir@thenational.ae