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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Gang who stole Dh1m from money transport vehicle to see out jail terms

Prosecutors sought a harsher sentence but the defendants' three-year jail terms were upheld

Six security guards who stole more than Dh1m from a money transport vehicle have had their three-year jail sentences upheld despite prosecutors appealing for a harsher sentence.

The Sri Lankan defendants, aged between 22 and 39, worked for the money transportation company they stole from and planned the heist together then wired some of the stolen cash to their country, Dubai Criminal Court was told.

On May 6 last year, the men stole 12 bags of money containing Dh1.2m from the vehicle as it stopped in Al Muraqqabat area to collect cash.

One of the men, who was on duty that day along with two Pakistani men, tricked the driver into opening the van claiming he had more bags of money to add.

One of the Pakistani men told investigators that as he and the Sri Lankan were waiting to collect the money, the defendant excused himself to use the toilet claiming he had stomach ache.

“I had no idea that he returned to the vehicle and tricked the driver to open its door for him,” said the guard, 26.

After stealing the money the men then hailed a cab and headed to a flat in Al Rashidiya area where each one was handed Dh160,000.

Police tracked the men down using CCTV footage and arrested three of them on May 9 in Al Rashidiya while the three others were arrested in Al Sajaa in Sharjah the following day.

Two other defendants, who remain at large, were accused of aiding and abetting the six others by transferring some of the stolen money for them.

Police managed to retrieve Dh920,010 of the stolen money.

The six in custody admitted to a robbery charge in both criminal and appeal courts.

They were sentenced to three years in prison each by Dubai Criminal Court and were fined Dh1.2m

One of the two at large was sentenced to a year in jail for aiding and abetting while the eighth defendant was found not guilty.

Those convicted will be deported after serving their prison terms.

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