Trio convicted of possessing Dh11m-worth of stolen precious stones lose appeal
They were sentenced to one year in prison to be followed by deportation last November by Dubai Criminal Court
Three men who were convicted of housing precious stones worth almost Dh11 million, but who claimed they did not know they were stolen, have lost their appeal bid.
The Indian men, aged between 26 and 34, were sentenced to one year in prison to be followed by deportation last November by Dubai Criminal Court.
They appealed the sentence, seeking to be acquitted, and told judges that they had no idea the jewels were stolen and added that a friend – a fourth defendant who remains at large – gave them to them to keep for a while.
The trio were convicted of possessing the stolen items worth Dh10.8m in April last year while the fourth man was found guilty of stealing rough emeralds from his employer — a company in Al Barsha which buys and sells rough precious stones.
The manager of the company, a 25-year-old Briton, said the jewels disappeared while his father — the owner of the company — was travelling.
“I received the shipment of rough emeralds on April 5 this year while my father was out of the country. I kept them in a large safe, and when my father returned the following day, we couldn't find them,” he said.
Footage from surveillance cameras showed the defendant at large, switching off the cameras in the office where the safe was kept.
“On April 7, we saw the defendant on camera leaving my father’s office carrying large bags. Then we discovered that he stole the precious stones and Dh59,000 in cash and left the country the same day,” said the manager who reported the incident to police.
Police arrested the man’s friends and found some of the emeralds in their possession.
“The man then called my father from his home country and asked him to come to him to take the rest of the stolen emeralds, my father flew there and got the stones back,” the manager said.
Court records did not disclose how police apprehended the man’s friends, who said during police questioning they were given the stones to store.
“They said the runaway defendant handed them a large bag to keep and when they found out its contents they got scared from approaching police and decided to keep the bag until the man returns,” said an Emirati police officer.
The runaway defendant was sentenced in his absence to three years in prison to be followed by deportation.
The trio will have to see out their prison terms then be deported.
Updated: March 4, 2018 10:16 AM