Dubai: A three-member Chinese gang has been sentenced to three years in jail for breaking into a Dubai villa on New Year’s Day and stealing more than Dh1.3 million.
One defendant was arrested while two others were at large. Apart from the jail sentence, Dubai Court of First Instance ordered the defendants to pay a Dh1.3 million fine, followed by the deportation of the defendant who had been arrested.
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Last December, the three Chinese defendants, all visitors to the UAE, broke into a villa in Al Barsha and committed the burglary as the Egyptian owner was out celebrating New Year. He returned to his villa after midnight and discovered his house had been burgled.
“I was celebrating with my family. I returned to the villa and sat in the living room until 4am. It was only later, when I went to my bedroom that I discovered the break-in,” said the 52-year-old Egyptian owner.
He said Dh1.3 million in cash was missing from two bags in his bedroom. Some documents and expensive watches worth more than Dh55,000 were also gone.
“I checked the house and saw a break-in through the glass door. I reported the incident to Dubai Police,” the owner said on record.
Police arrested a 58-year-old defendant who admitted to committing the robbery along with two of his countrymen.
“He said that he came to the UAE to commit a series of burglaries in villas. He used to drive in a car and monitor the villas and the movements of people inside them,” an Emirati policeman said on record.
The gang targeted other villas, too in Dubai, according to records.
The other two defendants fled the country, leaving the money with the main defendant.
“He contacted a friend in China to smuggle the money out of the UAE. A woman and two men then arrived to collect the money and other stolen items, but they were arrested.”
Dubai Public Prosecution has charged the 58-year-old defendant and his two accomplices who are still at large.
The other three Chinese defendants — two men and a woman — were charged with possessing stolen items.
The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days.