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Lifeguard jailed over Dh700,000 heist

Defendant and other fugitives lured salesman to alley, beat him and stole the cash from him

Gulf News

Dubai: A lifeguard has been jailed for three years for conspiring with fugitives, luring a salesman to a dark alley, beating him up and then robbing Dh700,000 from him.

The 26-year-old Uzbek lifeguard and some other men, who remain at large, tricked the Nepalese salesman who was taking the money to a jeweller in Naif area in November.

The Nepalese salesman had Dh700,000 in a backpack and was walking towards the jeweller, records showed, before he saw a bundle of US dollars on the floor.

After he looked around and noticed that nobody was watching, the salesman bent down to pick up the money but someone came from behind and snatched it off the ground.

The man asked the salesman to follow him into an alley so they could split the money between them without anyone noticing.

The Nepalese salesman followed him and once they reached the end of the alley, a number of men, including the lifeguard, ganged up against him.

The men beat up the salesman, snatched away his backpack and fled from the scene.

The victim reported the matter to the police and preliminary investigation led to the arrest of the lifeguard and a 27-year-old Uzbek manager of a car rental office.

The 27-year-old was apprehended for his involvement in renting out the car that the thieves had used during the heist.

A 39-year-old Uzbek merchant and a 24-year-old countryman salesman were both arrested for possessing part of the stolen cash.

Prosecutors charged the lifeguard with beating the Nepalese salesman and robbing Dh700,000 from him with the help of other suspects who absconded.

The manager was accused of aiding and abetting the thieves.

The merchant and the Uzbek salesman were charged with possessing Dh259,000 of the stolen cash.

On Monday, the Dubai Court of First Instance jailed the lifeguard for three years for beating the victim and robbing the cash from him.

Presiding judge Urfan Omar acquitted the three other Uzbek suspects, who had pleaded not guilty.

When asked in court about who had given him the Dh259,000, the 24-year-old man said: “The lifeguard and a woman came and gave me the money … but I did not know about the heist.”

According to Monday’s ruling the 26-year-old defendant will be deported after serving his jail term.

The 40-year-old Nepalese testified that a group of men beat him up in the alley after he followed the man who had picked up the bundle of US dollars.

“Another person came and claimed that the bundle belonged to him … then he asked me to check my bag. Having opened the bag with good intention, both men beat me. I lost consciousness … when I regained my consciousness, I realised that they had taken my backpack. I reported the matter to the police,” he told prosecutors.

A police lieutenant said the suspects were identified from surveillance cameras of nearby buildings.

The primary ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.