x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Jealousy at visa scam profits 'led to murder'

Pakistani was plied with alcohol then stabbed, court hears.

DUBAI // Two men who became jealous of a colleague's earnings from a visa scam got him drunk then stabbed him to death and burned his body in his car, a court was told yesterday. AA, 37, a limousine driver, and HM, 27, an office manager, led Masoud al Rahman, a Pakistani, to an apartment in al Hamriya, Dubai, on August 20 last year, prosecutors said. After killing Mr al Rahman, they wrapped his body in a sack and put it in the boot of his Lexus limousine before setting fire to it six days later in Sharjah's Industrial Area, it was alleged.

Police were alerted to the crime by firefighters. Mr al Rahman's charred body was identified by DNA testing, Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance was told. Investigations revealed that the defendants and Mr al Rahman operated a fake visa scam in Dubai. Prosecutors said the defendants became jealous of Mr al Rahman after his earnings from the scam increased and he taunted them about his new-found wealth.

According to records, on the night of the killing AA and HM went to two supermarkets where they bought the murder weapon and a sack. At HM's flat, they met Mr al Rahman, who told them he was carrying Dh25,000 (US$6,800). When he passed out after drinking alcohol, HM and AA stabbed him five times, prosecutors said. The defendants claimed they did not find Dh25,000 and only stole Dh500 from Mr al Rahman's wallet.

A police officer told prosecutors that a stab wound was found on AA's hand. AA told police he got it trying to stop HM from stabbing Mr al Rahman. Police said the defendants had confessed to the crime. In court, they denied it. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty. The trial was adjourned until June 9.