Dubai: A 19 year-old Emirati student was found guilty of stealing six monkeys from a farm in Al Khawaneej and was sentenced to three months in jail.

Prosecutors said that in February 2013 the student, along with a number of unidentified accomplices, jumped over the farm’s fence and used a hard tool to break the cage, where the two baboons and four marmoset monkeys were kept. The stolen monkeys were valued at Dh53,000.

Earlier when the presiding judge asked the suspect if he had stolen the monkeys, the Emirati student laughed and denied the charges. “I did not break the cage or steal anything.”

The farm’s Emirati owner testified to the court, saying his watchman called him on the night of the incident.

“After I rushed to my farm, I found that the cage, where I kept my pet monkeys in, was broken,” he said. “I provided the footage recorded by surveillance cameras to the police. It showed a number of suspects jumping over the farm’s fence and then stealing my monkeys.”

The Emirati student was apprehended after his fingerprints matched those taken from inside the cage.

“We found DNA evidence and fingerprints matching the suspect,” a police witness told prosecutors in an earlier hearing, “He denied the charges.”

The police witness said the theft had taken place just before midnight on February 25, 2013, behind a veterinary clinic in Al Khawaneej.