Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 June 2019

Gang who burnt their friend's dead body after he overdosed are jailed

The men parked the victim's car and doused it with fuel before setting it ablaze

Five men who burnt the body of their friend who had overdosed on heroin will spend a year in prison each.

The men, a 23-year-old police officer with a Comoros Islands passport, a 28-year-old Emirati, and two 20-year-old men with Comoros Islands citizenship, and a fifth man, who was not identified in records, set fire to a car after placing the dead body of their friend on the passenger’s seat. One of them still remains at large.

On November 28, the victim, a 19-year-old Emirati, was released from prison after being pardoned from a jail term he was sentenced to for taking drugs.

His father picked him up from Dubai Police’s drug control department and was asked to bring him in for monthly drug tests.

The victim’s father, 52, said that the next day his son asked for a mobile phone and cash before borrowing his mother’s car to go out.

“I told him to be careful and to stay away from bad friends and drugs. He said 'OK' and left,” said the father, who did not hear from his son for days afterwards.

On December 14, he received a call from police telling him that his son’s body had been found in a car that had been burnt near a park in Bu Hail.

According to prosecutors, the Emirati met with the five defendants on November 29. The men said he injected himself with one of the four syringes he had filled with heroin in the car before giving his friends the other three to use.

Read more: Three charged with burning the body of friend who died from heroin overdose

Afterwards, the man stopped breathing and collapsed. One of the defendants injected him with citric acid in an attempt to revive him then asked the four others to drive the victim to the nearest hospital.

“The 18-year-old Emirati defendant placed the victim in the passenger’s seat, parked, opened the window and turned on the air conditioning. He and the other defendants then left the car,” said a policeman, 43.

When they returned two days later, they saw the man dead and decided to burn the car to hide their tracks.

“On December 14, they purchased fuel from a nearby petrol station and the first three defendants, after being dropped off by the defendant at large, poured fuel on the car and set it ablaze and left,” said the policeman. Three other cars were partially damaged by the fire.

During questioning, the accused admitted to charges of attempting to hide a dead body by burning it, setting fire to a car, damaging property, and endangering the lives of others by lighting a fire in an inhabited area.

Three of the defendants denied all charges in court. One of them remains at large and the fifth one, an Emirati, was not named among suspects in the charges sheet but he was convicted by the court on Tuesday.

All five were sentenced to one year in prison. The three expatriates will be deported upon serving their prison terms and after jointly paying a fine of Dh62,400 for the damages caused.

Updated: May 29, 2018 05:04 PM