Dubai: A driver has been jailed for three years for dousing a rival’s bus with petrol, setting it on fire and accidentally burning 12 cars at Dubai Outlet Mall’s parking in a fit of revenge.

A 24-year-old Pakistani minibus driver dropped off staff who work at Dubai Outlet Mall and parked his minibus in the outer parking.

He received a phone call from his friend at 2am and was told his vehicle was on fire.

He rushed out to the parking to check what had happened before he was notified by police interrogators and firefighters that his vehicle had been deliberately set on fire.

Upon checking CCTVs, police interrogators and crime scene investigators saw a man running away from the burning bus with his clothes on fire.

According to surveillance cameras, the man was also seen taking off his burning clothes, jumping into a minibus and driving away.

Police identified the driver, a 42-year-old Pakistani man, from the plate number of the minibus and apprehended him.

On Monday, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the 42-year-old defendant of setting 13 vehicles on fire deliberately.

Presiding judge Habib Awad ordered the accused, who had pleaded guilty, to pay for the damages he caused to the 13 cars.

The accused will be deported after serving his punishment.

The 24-year-old Pakistani driver said he was not aware that the accused had been driving staff to the mall.

A police sergeant testified that the crime scene investigators confirmed that the fire wasn’t accidental.

“We identified the accused from the minibus plate number. He was seen running away from the burning bus and part of his clothes got caught by fire. After his arrest, he admitted that he set the minibus on fire because the 24-year-old had been causing him to lose business. He alleged that he used to drive staff to Outlet Mall before the 24-year-old driver started transporting staff at lower prices. He claimed that the 24-year-old repeatedly reduced the prices of transporting staffers and he decided to take revenge because he was suffering financially and couldn’t afford any further losses. He admitted that he poured benzene on the minibus and tossed a lit up cigarette on it,” said the sergeant.

The 12 vehicles were also gutted by fire as they had been parked beside the minibus.

The primary judgement remains subject to appeal.