x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Request for maximum jail term over gold theft

Prosecutors ask for a harsh penalty for men arrested in connection with a July gold heist.

DUBAI // Four men charged with taking part in a Dh11 million gold theft are facing up to 15 years each in jail after prosecutors asked the court for the toughest punishment possible.

Deira Chief Prosecutor Yousif Mohammed Foulaz asked the Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday for the harshest sentence available for a theft that takes place at night.

The four main defendants, all from Afghanistan, HA, 27; BM, 39; ZT and MK, both 28, were charged with theft of more than 30 kilograms of gold. Prosecutors say they broke through the wall of a jewellery store into the concrete vault that housed the gold.

Two other men, the Australian SH, 32, and the Afghan OM, 37, were charged with possession of stolen items and could receive six months in jail if convicted.

The four men arrived at the International City gold shop by taxi in the early morning of July 13, according to prosecutors. They entered a shop next door to the jeweller and spent eight hours cutting a metre-wide hole in the wall shared between the two shops, prosecutors say.

Brig Gen Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansoori, head of Dubai's CID, said the raid had been "masterminded by a suspect who is currently imprisoned in a GCC country".

The men denied the charges. The court will issue a verdict on December 29.

amustafa@thenational.ae