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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 February 2019

Security guard who stole Dh73 million diamond loses appeal against jail term

Precious stone was smuggled out of the UAE in a shoe

A security guard who stole a Dh73 million diamond from a company vault in Dubai has lost an appeal against his five-year jail term.

The Sri Lankan defendant snatched the precious stone before handing it over to an accomplice who smuggled it out of the UAE in a shoe.

The diamond theft was uncovered by a senior employee who noticed the bag the valuable diamond was being kept in had been ripped.

The offence took place in May of last year.

Further investigations revealed the box had been switched with one carrying a different serial number.

“The orange bag where we kept the diamond inside that box, was the same, but the diamond was not in it,” said the employee, 37.

Police then combed through CCTV footage to catch the culprit in the act.

Camera footage shows the offender wearing a heavy jacket - despite being a room that didn't have air-condition during the sweltering UAE summer.

It was discovered that the defendant had access to the code for the vault and the box storing the diamond, had removed the lucrative item and hit it under his jacket before leaving the premises.

He gave the diamond to a relative who smuggled it out of the country in a shoe.

The guard went into hiding in Sharjah but was tracked down within a matter of days.

He confessed to the crime during police questioning, admitting he had plotted the crime days in advance.

The guard was handed a five-year jail sentence at Dubai Criminal Court.

His accomplice was also given jailed for the same period in his absence and remains at large.

The man who harboured the Sri Lankan defendant was jailed for three months.

All three sentences were upheld at Dubai's Court of Appeal.

The three men will be deported at the end of their sentences.

Updated: February 2, 2019 01:03 PM

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