Dubai: A flight steward has been cleared of stealing Dh18,500 from three brothers in a flight’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.

As the flight cruised towards Dubai, the father fell ill and the three sons left their business class seats and went to attend to him.

When they returned, 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 matter was reported to the police.

On Wednesday, the Dubai Court of First Instance acquitted the Egyptian flight steward, 37, of taking the cash from the wallets due to lack of corroborated evidence.

The steward had pleaded not guilty and refuted his accusations.

One of the brothers, 43, said the incident happened after their father felt fatigued. “My brothers and I went to check out on my father. When we returned to our seats, I discovered that Dh3,700 was 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. Those banknotes had serial numbers that were in sequential order with the stolen banknotes. When the plane landed, the police took our belongings to examine the fingerprints and searched the plane, but the money wasn’t recovered,” he testified.

The other two brothers confirmed his statement.

A police corporal told prosecutors that the Egyptian admitted to stealing the money when fingerprints matched with those lifted from the brothers’ wallets.

However, the court acquitted the steward of any wrongdoing over uncorroborated evidence.

The ruling remains subject to appeal.