Dubai: A gang of nine Nigerian men have gone on trial, accused of armed robbery of a car transporting money, a Dubai Court of First Instance heard on Thursday.

The gang used meat cleavers, knives and axe to steal a bag containing Dh265,748 belonging to a money exchange house in Al Muhaisna 2 area in Dubai.

A 36-year-old Indian manager testified that in July 2018, the money transport van arrived at the exchange office.

Two security guards put the money inside a big, red bag but they were attacked by the gang before reaching the vehicle.

“I saw three African men attacking the security guards with knives. They snatched the money bag, and the two guards sustained injuries. I alerted Dubai police through the alarm system but the attackers escaped in a white car,” the manager said in official records.

The two guards were seriously injured during the attack and one of the defendants damaged the van’s tyre before fleeing the scene.

However, Dubai Police found the money bag empty, 500 meters away from the crime scene.

“Surveillance cameras identified the defendants. They were staying in Ajman. We arrested them despite strong resistance,” a 26-year-old Emirati police officer said.

The gang confessed that the mastermind behind the operation, who is still at large, used to work as a security guard in the area and had information about the money transport van and timing.

“They used a stolen plate number for their car during the robbery. They split the money between them when arrived at Ajman. We found one axe and four meat cleavers in their place.”

However, the defendants denied charges at courtroom. The trial has been postponed to February 25 to prepare the defence while they remain in custody.