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5 on trial for confining man, stealing his Dh135,000

Suspects lured victim to a businessman’s office, confined him briefly, stole his cash

Gulf News

Dubai: Five visitors have been accused of illegally confining a businessman in an office for a few hours, assaulting him and stealing his Dh135,000.

The five British visitors, aged between 37 and 52, were said to have stormed into the office of a gold trader to discuss an incomplete gold deal that had taken place in Uganda in April.

According to records, the Britons went to the company to collect their gold or an amount of cash equivalent to the value of the deal.

The businessmen called up one of his clients, who owed him money, and asked him to visit him at his company’s office in Business Bay area.

When the client went to the office, according to records, the suspects locked him up and beat him up. Then they took the key of his hotel room, before two of them went and got the safety box from his room.

Then they returned to the businessman’s company and forced the client to open the safety box, from where they stole Dh135,000.

Prosecutors charged the five suspects with illegally confining the client, assaulted him and stealing his cash.

Three of the five Britons who appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Thursday, pleaded not guilty and dismissed their accusations.

Two of the suspects did not show up in courtroom three.

According to the charge sheet, prosecutors said the five suspects went to the businessman’s office and forced him to lure the client to his company. Then they confined the client in the company for a while and stole his mobiles and money after they assaulted him.

The client claimed to prosecutors that the incident happened after the businessman called him over the phone and asked him over to discuss his debt.

“I went to his office at 7pm … once I walked in, I was surprised to see the five suspects inside. I was assaulted and threatened … they forced me to give them the key of my safety box. Two of them went and brought it. When they returned, they forced me to open it and they stole my cash. They also took my passport. Then they recorded me on a video admitting that I owe two of them $400,000 and that I would pay them the money the next day … thereafter they let me go,” he testified to prosecutors.

The businessman testified to prosecutors that the Britons coerced him to lure the client to his office, where they locked him up until they got the money.

A police lieutenant claimed to prosecutors that the hotel’s [where the client had stayed] management reported to the police that a stranger had entered the client’s room and taken away the safety box.

Records said the suspects were taken into custody shortly after that.

The five suspects were quoted as claiming to prosecutors that they met the client at the businessman’s office when they went to discuss a gold deal with the latter.

The trial continues.