x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Theft victim lied over stolen books including golden bible, police say

Victim who allegedly inflated value of stolen goods has been charged with filing a false report.

DUBAI // The victim of an alleged theft inflated the value of two stolen antique books - one of them a jewel-encrusted golden bible - so investigators would pay more attention to the case, police said yesterday.

MH reported the theft of a bag containing the two books worth more than Dh1.8 million and Dh100,000 in cash. But police who caught up with the alleged thief found books worth no more than Dh100,000, and no cash, said Lt Col Salim al Rumaithy, the deputy director of Criminal Investigations at Dubai Police.

The alleged theft took place in the first week of June when MH and a broker, BA, went to a meeting in al Muhaisnah with a prospective buyer, Lt Col al Rumaithy said.

"MH said that when he and the broker arrived, a third man came and tried to snatch the bag from him.

He said they got into a struggle before the thief fled the scene with the bags," Lt Col al Rumaithy said.

MH reported the theft, and after an investigation police arrested AK with stolen goods worth much less than MH had claimed.

"After we faced the complainant with our discoveries he confessed to us that he had inflated the value of the artefacts to attract attention and care from the officers," Lt Col al Rumaithy said.

MH is accused of filing a false report, and AK is accused of theft. Both have been referred to public prosecution.

Brig Gen Khalil Ibrahim al Mansouri, director of Dubai CID, called for the trade in antiquities to be regulated.

"The trade in such items should be under the observation and regulation of an official body," he said. "Special permits for trading in such rare commodities should be put in place."

amustafa@thenational.ae