x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Two charged with string of Dubai armed robberies

Men hit small businesses during lunch breaks, when most employees were gone, prosecutors say.

DUBAI // Two unemployed men made their living robbing small businesses at lunchtime, a court was told.

The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance was told that HA, 33, stateless, and NK, 28 from Pakistan, had put on masks and robbed companies from 2009 and until August. Both men denied the charges in court.

Prosecutors charged them with stealing Dh3,000 from Dolton Trading in Dubai. Records say they invaded the company's offices, gagged and tied the female clerk, and took the money.

The clerk, JP, a 46-year-old Indian, said the robbery began with a knock on the door about 3pm, when the company was closed for lunch.

When she asked who was there, the person who knocked said he had been sent by the manager to collect an important letter. Because she was new on the job, she said, she let him in. But the caller was masked as was his accomplice, she said.

She said the two assaulted her, gagged her, tied her up and robbed the place.

JJ told prosecutors NK threatened to kill her with a knife, then asked her for the safe's key, which she did not have.  She said the men cut the telephone wires and broke her mobile phone.

A colleague found her a couple of hours later, untied her and called the police, she said.

ST, a Yemeni corporal, testified that police had received several reports about similar thefts. He said the men were arrested in Al Baraha area.

The next hearing will be on November 22.

salamir@thenational.ae