19-strong gang convicted over Dh267,000 Dewa cable thefts

The Pakistani men beat two security guards with iron bars and tied them up during the robbery.

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DUBAI // A gang of 19 men who stole electric cables worth Dh267,000 from a worksite after assaulting and tying up two security guards have been convicted by Dubai Criminal Court.

The men, all Pakistanis who entered not guilty pleas, were convicted of armed robbery, assaulting the guards, tying them up and blindfolding them on August 16, 2014 at a Dubai Electricity and Water Authority site in Al Qusais.

Sixteen men were sentenced to six months in jail to be followed by deportation, while the other three were only fined Dh3,000 each.

Pakistani security guard ZD, 30, told the court that he was making his rounds at the site when he noticed a group of men.

“It was past midnight when I saw them and, as they spotted me and my colleague, they came running to attack us, so we fled to the security room. They followed us and smashed the window then jumped inside,” said the guard.

The gang ripped off his shirt and assaulted him and his colleague with iron bars then tied them up and blindfolded them.

“We remained inside the room and heard the sounds of them moving items,” said the guard.

His colleague, Indian SS, 21, said the attackers took their phones. “We remained in the room for nearly three hours, after which we no longer heard the noises of things being moved or broken,” he said.

The guards managed to free themselves and walked to the street and to get help.

A 39-year-old policeman testified that they were tipped off about a man who was involved in the robbery. “We arrested him and, during investigations, he told us about more men who were involved,” said the officer.

Six of the defendants were not in court because they have yet to be found, so they were sentenced in their absence.

salamir@thenational.ae