Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 July 2019

Men accused of stealing emeralds worth Dh10m from Dubai dealer

The men said they were given the stones but didn't know they were stolen

Three men arrested with precious stones worth almost Dh11m in their possession told Dubai Criminal Court they were merely housing the jewels and did not know they were stolen.

“We had no idea, he gave it to us to keep it, but we didn't know it was stolen,” the Indian men aged 26 to 34 told judges, referring to a fourth man who remains at large.

Prosecutors charged the trio with possessing the stolen items worth Dh10.8m in April this year and charged the fourth man with stealing rough emeralds from his employer — a company which buys and sells rough precious stones.

The manager of the company, a 25-year-old Briton, said the jewels disappeared while his father — the owner of the company — was travelling.

“I received the shipment of rough emeralds on April 5 this year while my father was out of the country. I kept it in a large safe, and when my father returned the following day, we didn’t find it,” he said.

Footage from surveillance cameras showed the defendant at large switching of the cameras in his father’s office where the safe was kept.

“On April 7, we saw the defendant on camera leaving my father’s office carrying large bags then we discovered that he stole Dh59,000 in cash as well and left the country the same day,” said the manager who reported the incident to police.

Police arrested man’s friends and found some of the emeralds in their possession.

“The man then called my father from his home country and asked him to come to him to take the rest of the stolen emeralds, my father flew there and got the stones back,” the manager said.

Court records did not disclose how police apprehended the man’s friends who confessed during police questioning to being given the stones to store.

“They said the runaway defendant handed them a large bag to keep and when they found out its contents they got scared from approaching police and decided to keep the bag until the man returns,” said an Emirati police officer.

The next hearing will be October 10.

Updated: September 10, 2017 03:20 PM