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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Security officer admits stealing Dh73 million diamond

Precious stone was smuggled out of the UAE in a shoe

A Dh73 million diamond was stolen by a security worker in Dubai before being smuggled to Sri Lanka.
A Dh73 million diamond was stolen by a security worker in Dubai before being smuggled to Sri Lanka.

A security worker admitted helping to smuggle a rare Dh73 million diamond out of the UAE in a shoe.

The precious stone was recovered in Sri Lanka after a police operation was launched when it was discovered missing from a company vault in Dubai.

The theft was only uncovered when a senior employee - who was tasked with keeping hold of the blue diamonds - was handing over his responsibilities after his resignation.

Dubai Criminal Court heard that a box in which the diamond was being stored had been switched by the defendant during the theft on May 25.

Managers found a bag inside the box had been ripped and, when they looked inside, they saw the valuable diamond had been taken.

Investigations revealed the serial number on the box did not match the one in which the diamond was kept.

“The entire box was taken and replaced with another one that carries a different serial number, however the orange bag where we kept the diamond inside that box, was the same, but the diamond was not in it,” said the Jordanian man, 37, who had tendered his resignation from the company.

Police were notified and, after combing through CCTV footage, they were able to pinpoint the Sri Lankan offender.

The court heard he was wearing a heavy jacket in the footage - despite the room not having air-conditioning and it being a hot day.

“The room did not have air-conditioning and in May, it was soaring hot which alerted police,” said the Jordanian man.

Court records stated that the defendant had access to the code for the vault and the box, and he had removed the diamond.

The offender hid the diamond under his heavy jacket then gave it to a relative.

His relative, who is at large, smuggled it out of the country inside a shoe the same day.

On May 28, the guilty party was asked by the company to attend a meeting concerning the missing diamond.

He did not turn up and went into hiding with the help of a 38-year-old compatriot.

He was tracked down in Sharjah within a matter of days and admitted the crime during police questioning, telling officers he had plotted the theft days in advance.

The offender admitted the theft in court.

The man who harboured him denied knowing that he had carried out the crime.

“He told me that he was in trouble related to bounced cheques,” said the co-accused to judges at Dubai Criminal Court.

Records show the diamond was recovered from Sri Lanka.

A verdict on the case is expected on October 18.