Dubai: Five men have been each jailed for three years for mugging a gold trader and walking away with a haul of 50 kilograms of gold worth Dh8 million.

The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the defendants, four Nigerians and a Cameroonian, after they admitted following the Malian trader, A.N., from the airport to the hotel and mugging him.

According to the charge sheet, prosecutors said each of the accused had a certain role in the heist. Some of them monitored the victim the minute he walked out of Dubai International Airport until he reached his hotel in Deira.

They beat him and sprayed pepper in his face to make it difficult for him to identify them later.

The Malian trader said the attack happened shortly after he arrived on a business trip with his two partners on December 21.

“We arrived at the airport around 1am. We carried six bags that contained 210 kilograms of gold. We arrived at the hotel by 3am. I was checking in at the reception when a man came and pushed me. He grabbed my bag and ran away. I chased him to the hotel’s entrance when two other men blocked my way and pushed me down on the floor. They assaulted me and ran away.

“I stood up quickly and continued chasing the assailants but they were faster. My partners and I spotted the assailants jumping into a red car and driving off. We noted the number plate and reported it to the police. Police discovered that the car was rented in Sharjah. Police checked surveillance cameras at the airport and the hotel and spotted clear images of the defendants,” claimed A.N.

An Emirati policeman said the defendants were detained at their residence in Sharjah.

“We found two of the stolen gold plates hidden inside a radio’s speakers. During questioning, the defendants confessed that 10 other plates were available in a cargo company waiting to be consigned to their families. They had planned to sell the plates and split the money,” said the policeman.

Monday’s judgement remains subject to appeal within 15 days.