x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Deported employee 'returned to murder'

Police say the former finance manager of Dubai Holdings Group was killed by an ex-colleague.

DUBAI // A disgruntled worker who was deported while believing he was owed thousands of dirhams in unpaid salary returned to the country and clubbed and stabbed his employers' finance manager to death, police said yesterday.

The victim's body was found lying face-down in a pool of blood on the floor of his apartment in Karama last Sunday morning, with a broken hammer discarded near by.

Friends and relatives of SZ, a finance manager with the Dubai Holding group, had raised the alarm after he failed to return telephone calls.

A police officer sent to the scene found traces of blood near the apartment lift and a prosecution search warrant was issued.

Later that day CID officers arrested a former colleague of SZ who was working at a restaurant in Sharjah. In a statement to police, he said he had killed in self-defence after SZ attacked him with a knife in an argument over money.

The man remains in custody and has been referred to public prosecution on a charge of premeditated murder.

In his statement to police, the man said he had worked at Dubai Holding Group and had been contractually entitled to a salary of Dh3,000 a month, but had received only Dh2,000.

He told investigators he approached SZ several times asking where the rest of his money was, but was repeatedly told to wait. Eventually his residence visa expired and he was deported.

He returned six months ago, and SZ asked him to meet at his home in Karama on July 8, he told police.

When the two met, according to the statement, SZ spoke about setting up a business in India, and other issues. The man then asked him again about his pay, and SZ told him it was a closed issue - no money would be paid to him.

The man then pushed SZ, who picked up a knife and slashed his arm, according to the police report.

The man told police he picked up a hammer and hit SZ until he fell. While he was on the ground, man stabbed SZ in the head, he told police.

He says took a shirt from SZ's room and a cloth to wrap round the wound on his arm before fleeing. He has been referred for a forensic examination to check if his injuries match his statement.

Dubai Holding Group said SZ had worked with the company for 10 years. "His death has come as a big shock to all of us," said Hikmat Fawaz, the company's public relations manager.

"We started work in the company together. We are in touch with the family and will help to repatriate the body, once the police formalities are completed."

SZ's wife had contacted the company when she could not reach him on his mobile, he said.

"Some of our staff went to check on him, but when nobody opened the door, they called the police."

Mr Fawaz said some company employees had been called in for questioning, but declined to give details until the police investigation was complete.

amustafa@thenational.ae