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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Gang who broke into Dubai villa and stole items worth Dh35m are jailed

The men were armed with guns and tied up the villa's watchman while they burgled the house

Four men who broke into a villa in Dubai, restrained the watchman at gunpoint and stole jewellery valued at Dh35 million, will spend three years in jail each.

Two Emiratis, one solider and the other unemployed, a Yemeni policeman, and a Somali policeman, all aged between 29 and 48, raided the villa of the Emirati trader, 40, in Al Gharhoud at almost 2am on July 3 this year.

The men were armed with two guns, a hammer, screwdriver, electric saw and another sharp tool, prosecutors said.

The gang subdued the Pakistani watchman, 24, and tied him up before breaking into two safes to steal 300 expensive watches worth Dh20m and antique jewellery.

The victim said he collects and resells valuables. “I had purchased the watches and jewellery on auctions in the UAE and abroad,” said the trader, who valued the jewellery at around Dh5m.

The men also stole a $150,000 (Dh550,000) rare copy of the Holy Quran, a Dh1m handbag and cheques, business contracts and partnership documents. They stole power of attorney letters, jewellery receipts and 250 gold, steel and diamond-studded watches worth Dh4.8m.

The villa’s guard said the four masked men broke into the villa carrying guns and shouting “police”.

“I tried to tell them I was the watchman but they refused to listen,” said the guard. “They tied me up with plastic cables and questioned me in Urdu whether there was anyone else home. They shoved me down and dragged me inside the villa’s attachment but one remained guarding me while the others went back the villa,” he added.

The guard escaped to the street where a taxi driver untied him, the man then reported the incident to police.

The victim had been detained at Al Muraqqabat Police Station a month prior to the theft in relation to financial cases.

“On July 4, I was escorted by policemen to my villa but I didn't know why,” said the victim, who was then told of the burglary.

At Dubai Criminal Court last September, three defendants denied armed robbery charges while the fourth admitted to the crime and testified against his accomplices. “They were with me,” he said.

Court records did not disclose how police tracked down and arrested the four accused nor if any of the valuables were retrieved.

The Yemeni and Somali defendants will be deported after serving their jail terms.