Dubai: A manager has been convicted of illegally operating an unregistered two-man mini sports submarine near Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR).
Prosecutors charged the 34-year-old Turkish manager, K.B., of operating the recreational submarine without obtaining proper permission from the concerned authorities or registering it.
When the defendant appeared before the Dubai Misdemeanour Court, he contended that he was testing the submarine, which he claimed he purchased for Dh15,000, and did not intend to sail it.
According to court records, two policemen were on patrol at JBR's shoreline when they spotted the fibreglass submarine near the beach.
The policemen said the submarine is 183 centimetres long, with a height of 140 centimetres and a weight of 565 kilograms. Police established that the submarine was not registered and that it belonged to K.B. The defendant was fined Dh1,000.
Police records said the defendant admitted during questioning that he purchased the submarine for Dh15,000 from a local factory that manufactures boats in Al Quoz.
During questioning, K.B. said he spotted the submarine while looking for something else at the factory and was told it would cost Dh15,000.
He said he then asked the factory to repaint the submarine and have it repaired and agreed to pay Dh20,000 for this.
After all repairs were complete, K.B. said that he loaded it onto a truck and took it to JBR, put it into the water and proceeded to check whether it was seaworthy.
"I sailed it two metres under [water] and that's when [it sprang a leak] near the battery. I pulled it back to the beachside and unplugged the battery. I left it there and went back home because I was tired. I removed the battery so that nobody would steal it or try to sail the submarine."
K.B.'s lawyer asked the court to acquit his client and said that he did not have any criminal intent.
"My client purchased the submarine from the local factory. It was old and had been abandoned [for] more than seven years. K.B. had good intentions when he asked the factory to repair the submarine for Dh20,000," K.B.'s lawyer told the court.
"The agreement was to pay Dh10,000 upon signing the agreement and the balance after he checked its seaworthiness. Besides the factory informed my client that they [had] registered the submarine with [the] Dubai Chamber and that they [had] informed the coast guards," the lawyer said.
The primary judgement remains subject to appeal.