Dubai: A tourist has been accused of killing a man in a brothel, a court heard on Wednesday.

According to records, the Chinese tourist, 54, is said to have arrived at Abu Dhabi International Airport and the he travelled to Dubai the next day to have dinner with his countryman friend in June.

Shortly after dinner, his friend told the tourist that he wanted to go get a massage and have sex at a nearby brothel. At the brothel, it is believed that the tourist had a heated argument with another client — who was drunk — that escalated into a fight.

The deceased struck the Chinese man with a liquor bottle on his head. The accused then rushed to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed the victim repeatedly.

Following the incident, the tourist took a shower in an attempt to wash away the blood on him and then fled the place.

An Indian neighbour, who lives in the same building, reported to the police that he had seen several Chinese men and women running in and out the flat [brothel] and behaving suspiciously. The neighbour suspected that a fight had taken place in the flat.

When police teams arrived at the flat, they discovered a Chinese person who had been stabbed to death and placed in a huge carton box that had been taped and put on a trolley.

Crime scene investigators realised that the victim’s body was being readied to be taken away.

Suspects apprehended

Primary interrogations led to the arrest of eight Chinese men and seven Chinese women, who had been working as prostitutes in the brothel.

The first man apprehended was a Chinese visitor, 41, who had subleased the flat from his countrywoman. He was caught minutes before he boarded a plane to fly out from Dubai International Airport.

Prosecutors charged the main suspect of stabbing his countryman victim and killing him in a premeditate manner. The 41-year-old suspect and the woman from whom he had subleased the flat were accused of running a brothel and making the seven Chinese women work in prostitution.

Both men were accused of attempting to dispose of the victim’s body.

“I did not intend to kill him. We had a heated argument that developed into a fight ... we exchanged assault but I didn’t intend to kill him,” said the 54-year-old suspect who pleaded not guilty before the Dubai Court of First Instance.

The 41-year-old and 51-year-old both contended before presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi that they did not try to hide away the victim’s corpse. “I did not run the flat as a brothel and I didn’t make the women work as prostitutes,” the 41-year-old suspect said in court.

The seven women were charged with working in prostitution. They admitted to the charge in court.

Prosecutors accused all the suspects [except the 54-year-old tourist] of failing to report the murder to the police, which they denied.

The Indian neighbour testified to prosecutors: “When my family and I returned from dinner, I saw suspicious movements. I saw a Chinese man [murder suspect] coming out of the flat with his clothes soaked in water and blood. He was leaving quickly. Then I saw another man, who also had bloodstains on his clothes, coming out of the flat. When I asked him what happened, he said that a fight had taken place. I went downstairs and saw another person pushing a trolley into the flat. I decided to report the matter to the police.”

A police lieutenant told prosecutors that they discovered the flat was being run as a brothel on raiding it.

“We also found the victim’s body inside a huge box that had been put on the trolley. It seemed that the culprits were preparing to move the body and get rid of it. The suspects were apprehended one at a time. The 54-year-old suspect was apprehended under Al Maktoum Bridge,” the lieutenant testified to prosecutors.

The trial continues.