Dubai: Four defendants were each handed a three-year jail term by the Dubai Court of First Instance after being found guilty of locking up a person inside a hotel apartment and snatching his money, after he was lured into the apartment with the promise of providing massage.
Records revealed that two men and two women — all expatriates — had rented a hotel apartment in the Al Barsha area of Dubai and used to lure victims to it through social media platforms, with the promise of offering massage services.
The victim saw an advertisement for massage service posted by the defendants. He contacted the number via WhatsApp and went to the apartment.
Once he entered the apartment, a woman told him to lie down on a bed, when the others attacked him. “They locked me up inside the room and threatened to beat me if I tried to escape or yell for help. They recorded my visuals on a mobile phone camera, snatched Dh1,550 in cash from me and my debit card as well,” said the man on record.
Hotel manager calls in the police
One of the defendants then went out to withdraw the money from the victim’s bank account, but the available balance in his account was zero.
Meanwhile, the hotel’s manager suspected the woman who had rented the apartment and called in Dubai Police. A police patrol soon arrived at the spot and arrested all the four defendants, aged between 25 and 31 years. Police officers also rescued the victim and returned him his money.
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Dubai Public Prosecution has charged the defendants with robbery, kidnapping and assaulting the victim.
Court has ordered the deportation of the defendants upon completion of their jail sentences.
The defendants have appealed the verdict and a first hearing on the appeal at Dubai Court of Appeal will be held next month.