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Dubai: The Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced a gang of four men to three years in jail, followed by deportation, for breaking into a villa at Palm Jumeirah and stealing Dh219,000 worth of valuables.

The men from Kyrgyzstan confessed that they visited Dubai with a plan to steal money and valuables from villas in the emirate.

According to official records, they went to the Palm after midnight in February this year, fully equipped with tools for their heist.

They broke into an unoccupied villa from the balcony where they found three safes inside a room. They broke the safes and found valuable items, including Rolex watches worth Dh219,000, and then flew out of Dubai the same day.

A 43-year-old Indian driver testified that his employer left the country to the UK and he had himself gone to India for a vacation when the incident took place.

“I received a call from my employer who told me that Dubai Police called him about the theft. I returned to the UAE after two days and entered the villa with the police. It was in a mess. The burglars had broken open the safes and stolen the valuables,” said the Indian driver.

The gang left the valuables with a woman, who is still at large, and coordinated with a 31-year-old countryman to collect the items from her to smuggle it out of the UAE for $900 (Dh3,305).

Dubai Police arrested the fourth defendant and recovered part of the stolen valuables.

“The defendant confessed that he met the woman and took the stolen items and was planning to smuggle it outside the country with other women. He was providing logistic support to the three defendants by providing SIM cards, hiding the stolen items and smuggling it out of the UAE,” said a 38-year-old Emirati policeman in records.

The three defendants were charged with breaking into a villa, committing a theft and damaging property.

The fourth defendant was charged with obtaining stolen items.