x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Russian gang arrested for brutal Ajman mugging

Police have arrested a gang of Russians who allegedly attacked an American gold trader and robbed him of Dh40,000 (US$10,900) and items of gold jewellery.

AJMAN // Police have arrested a gang of Russians who allegedly attacked an American gold trader and robbed him of Dh40,000 (US$10,900) and items of gold jewellery. The American, a UAE resident, was attacked and beaten unconscious as he walked home along the Ajman Corniche after midnight at the end of last week, police said. Col Sultan bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, the deputy director of Ajman police, said yesterday that police tracked down the Russians, who were on visit visas, and arrested them in Dubai and Abu Dhabi within three days.

Col Sultan said the American, whose identity was not given, took three hours to regain consciousness and call the police. "The CID officials collected enough evidence from the crime scene and started the investigations," he said, adding that the American worked at a well-known gold outlet in Dubai and the gang had followed him from there. "The criminals also knew well that the victim kept gold jewellery at his home."

Ajman police identified the Dubai residence of one of the Russian gang members and arrested him with the help of Dubai police. The other three Russians were arrested at Abu Dhabi airport allegedly trying to flee the country, intending to sell the gold abroad. Col Sultan said Abu Dhabi police had recovered the stolen gold, but its value had not yet been assessed. The Russians had been handed over to Ajman police, who had referred them to the public prosecution, he said.

Commenting on the growing number of cases of gangs of Russian criminals coming to Ajman and carrying out major thefts, Col Sultan said: "These are all consequences of rapid development. The UAE has now become a highly open place that it is often hard to filter criminals among other visitors." Last year, a gang of Russians stormed Wafi City shopping mall in Dubai and stole gold worth Dh56 million in what has been called the biggest robbery in the history of the United Arab Emirates.

Col Sultan also expressed concern about rising crime in Ajman. He said the police had already registered 3,037 crimes in the first six months of the year, including 1,020 bad cheques, 158 juvenile offences, 16 drugs-related crimes, 97 thefts, 35 car thefts and 137 burglaries in homes. @Email:ykakande@thenational.ae