Dubai: A businessman has denied sending a text message to a major in Dubai Police threatening to blow up the Burj Khalifa if he was not paid $1 million (Dh3.67 million).
"No sir I did not threaten him at all. I deny this charge. I didn't do such a thing," said 38-year-old Indian J.F. when he defended himself at the Dubai Court of First Instance.
According to the charge sheet, prosecutors said J.F. sent the SMS in English saying (word-for-word): "tomorrow Burj Khalifa blast arrange no arrange 1,000,000 dollar take".
The Emirati police major testified that he received a text on his mobile phone at around 4pm on February 2.
"What I understood from the SMS was that there was a threat that Burj Khalifa would be blown up if or if not $1 million was paid," the major said. "The zero figures were written in the letters O instead of the numerical 0 … hence it was not written clearly.
"Thereafter I immediately reported the matter to Dubai Police's Operation Room and forwarded the SMS to them."
A Pakistani bartender claimed J.F. admitted sending the message.
"I worked in hotel's bar in Dubai," he said. "J.F. and another man named C. were our frequent customers and used to come together.
"Four months later J.F. started coming alone. When I asked him about C., he said he knew nothing about him.
"One night, C.'s relative informed me that C. was jailed. J.F. confirmed to me that C. was in jail and told me that C. won't be released.
"Afterwards J.F. claimed that he is an influential trader and he could send C. back to prison. He claimed to me that he had jailed C the first time.
"He claimed to me that he is the one who sent an SMS to a certain mobile number without disclosing the number or the identity of its carrier. And thereafter C. was jailed."
Presiding Judge Zakaria Abdul Aziz adjourned the case for J.F. to present his written defence on November 27.