x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Maid who stole Dh1m from sponsor's safe says she was 'duped'

Woman says her friend promised to buy her a house in Ethiopia if she emptied sponsor's safe.

DUBAI // A housemaid who stole a million dirhams from her sponsor's safe says she was put up to the crime by a friend.

KW, from Ethiopia, told Dubai Criminal Court this morning that her friend, MM, had told her he would use the money to buy her a house in their home country.

And so, on her compatriot's instructions, the 30-year-old says she waited for her sponsor ZS to begin her exercise routine at 2pm on October 9 last year. She then stole the keys to the safe from ZS's purse and took a large amount of cash and jewellery before leaving the apartment to rendezvous with her friend, MM, and give him the loot.

She told police that he gave her about Dh200,000 and reiterated his promise to buy her a house in Ethiopia.

But the next morning, MM came to KW's apartment and took back the Dh200,000, saying he needed all the money and jewellery as he was leaving for Ethiopia. KW said MM gave her Dh3,000 for her monthly needs.

She was arrested shortly afterwards.

MM, who was still the country at the time of her arrest and used the money to purchase two vehicles, has since managed to evade arrest.

KW told the Dubai court she had no idea they had stolen Dh1m, and only found out when police informed her after her arrest.

The next hearing will be on June 18.

salamir@thenational.ae