Dubai: A resident and five men whom he flew in from overseas have been accused of forming a gang and breaking into unoccupied villas to loot cash and valuables, a court heard on Thursday.

An Emirati housewife was said to have accompanied her sick son to Thailand on a medical trip and, while she was abroad, one of the servants at her villa notified her that her residence had been burgled in May 2016.

On her return home, the housewife discovered that cash and valuables worth thousands of dirhams were missing from her residence.

After she reported the matter to the Dubai Police, primary interrogations and crime scene investigators identified a 48-year-old Sri Lankan who was suspected to have been involved in the break-in and heist that happened in Oudh Al Mutaina.

Police apprehended the 48-year-old and he led them to four of his countrymen, aged between 27 and 36.

During questioning, the arrested suspects alleged that their 35-year-old countryman resident flew them in from their country for the purpose of forming a gang to break into empty villas and steal cash and valuables.

The 35-year-old prime suspect remains at large and police are still searching for him.

Prosecutors accused the fugitive and the five suspects of forming a gang to force their way into empty villas and steal money and valuables.

According to the charges sheet, prosecutors said the six suspects used a screwdriver to force their way into the housewife’s villa from where they stole mobiles, electronics, gold items, diamond sets, jewellery, wrist watches and cash.

The prime suspect didn’t show up before the Dubai Court of First Instance where he was scheduled to enter his plea on Thursday.

The five detained suspects pleaded not guilty before presiding judge Urfan Omar.

A police sergeant, who questioned the suspects, testified to prosecutors: “Following their arrest, the suspects claimed that the runaway suspect masterminded the whole thing. They alleged that he flew some of them in to Dubai specifically to carry out the heists. The culprits claimed that they used to knock on doors of villas and when nobody responds and the make sure that the villas are empty, they would climb up the walls, break into bedrooms and steal cash and valuables.”

A ruling will be heard on July 30.