A huge pile of cash [Illustrative image] Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: Five men have been accused of assaulting a sales executive with pepper spray, beating him up and stealing Dh1.6 million from him.

According to records, in September, the Chinese sales executive concluded a deal at a trading company and put Dh1.7 million cash in his backpack, before riding his electric bike towards Al Mutainah street.

When encountered a puddle in front of a street signal, he parked his electric bike and crossed the street, when a group of men stopped him.

The men pepper-sprayed his face and punched him. When they tried to snatch his backpack, he resisted and clutched on to it strongly.

While pulling the backpack back and forth, it tore and the money fell on the ground. The muggers then stole Dh1.6 million in cash and absconded, leaving behind a bundle of Dh100,000.

The Chinese man reported the matter to the police.

Crime scene investigations led to the arrest of five men: three Pakistanis and two Afghans.

Prosecutors charged the five accused — aged between 27 and 42 — of using physical violence when they sprayed pepper in the victim’s eyes, beating him and stealing money.

According to the accusation sheet, the other suspects remain at large.

The five suspects pleaded not guilty, when they showed up before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Wednesday.

The Chinese man’s lawyer lodged a civil lawsuit before presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi, in which his client is seeking Dh21,000 in temporary compensation against damages suffered.

“I do not know the first three suspects … I only know one of them [29-year-old Pakistani suspect]. He called and asked to meet me. When I saw him after work, he gave me a bag full of Dh128,000 and asked me to keep it for him,” the 42-year-old Pakistani suspect contended before the judge.

The 29-year-old suspect confirmed his countryman’s testimony in court.

The Chinese executive claimed to prosecutors that the incident happened at 12.45pm.

“I took the money from the trading company after I concluded the deal and was riding my electric bike towards one of the streets. The muggers attacked me once I stepped off my bike to walk across a water puddle. They sprayed me with pepper and punched me. I tried to hold my backpack tightly but it tore. When the money fell on the ground, they stole it and absconded,” he testified.

A police lieutenant claimed to prosecutors: “During questioning, the arrested suspects claimed that there were five more suspects who remain at large. They alleged that they rode two cars and mugged the Chinese once they spotted him. Then they went to Al Ain and split the money.”

The court will appoint lawyers to defend the suspects when it reconvenes on December 23.