Dubai: A flight steward has been accused of stealing Dh18,500 from three brothers in an airplane’s business class cabin, while they were attending to their sick father.

The Emirati brothers and their father were flying back from Thailand on an Emirates flight in June.

Court records say that as the flight headed towards Dubai, the father suddenly fell ill, so they left their belongings unattended and went to check on him.

When the brothers returned to their seats, they discovered that a total of Dh18,500 in different currencies had been stolen from their wallets.

The Emiratis notified the cabin supervisor and the police were informed as well.

Police investigations found that an Egyptian flight steward, 37, had taken the cash from the wallets, after his fingerprints matched with those lifted from one of the wallets.

Prosecutors charged the Egyptian suspect of stealing money from the three passengers.

The suspect pleaded not guilty when he appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Wednesday. “That did not happen,” the suspect told presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi. However, a police corporal claimed to prosecutors that the suspect admitted that he stole the money once his fingerprints matched with those that were lifted of the brothers’ wallets.

His lawyer asked the court to adjourn the trial until he reviewed the case file.

One of the brothers, 43, claimed to prosecutors that the incident happened after their father felt fatigued. “My brothers and I went to check on my father. When we returned to our seats, I discovered that Dh3,700 were missing from my wallet. My brothers also discovered that Dh14,800 in dollars and dirhams were missing from their wallets. We alerted the cabin supervisor who took us to the business class galley and took photos of the money that wasn’t stolen from our wallets. These had serial numbers that were in sequential order with the stolen banknotes. When the plane landed, police took our belongings to examine the fingerprints and they searched the plane, but the money wasn’t recovered,” he testified to prosecutors.

The two brothers confirmed their brother’s statement.

The trial continues.