x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Escaped prisoner caught after thefts

Police sources said the officer tasked with monitoring the main gate had been referred to the public prosecution to face possible negligence charges.

DUBAI // An armed robber who had been on the run since escaping from Dubai Central Prison in January was arrested on Tuesday night after carrying out a series of thefts, police said yesterday.

News of the arrest came as police sources revealed that an officer who left the prison's main gate open as he waited for a friend to bring him food could face negligence charges.

The Iranian AA, who escaped with another prisoner, is thought to have planned the escape for more than three months. The other escapee, Iraqi JQ who is also serving time for armed robbery, was arrested in Dubai two days after the escape.

Police believe the pair may have exploited maintenance work at the prison in their bid for freedom. "Investigations are still ongoing and all possibilities are still open but we have confirmed that there was not any collaboration by policemen," said Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the Dubai police chief.

He said the pair were registered as dangerous criminals in their home countries and the UAE and were serving 30 years jail between them.

Police sources said the officer tasked with monitoring the main gate had been referred to the public prosecution to face possible negligence charges.

Following the escape, police formed several investigation teams to track down the men.

"Investigators started collecting information and they closely monitored all the Emirates borders to make sure they did not escape [the country]," said Maj Gen Khamis Al Mazeina, the deputy head of Dubai police. Police representatives were also sent to neighbouring countries.

Police tracked down AA following a number of thefts said to bear his criminal mark.

"We monitored all trade establishments and finally in the evening of yesterday [Tuesday] we were able to arrest him," said Brigadier Khalil Al Mansouri, the head of criminal investigation department.

wissa@thenational.ae