Armed gang steals Dh1.7m from shop after threatening to slit worker’s throat, court hears

Ten men and one woman are on trial at Dubai Criminal Court for the raid where three employees were attacked and the sum of money was stolen from two safes.

DUBAI // An armed gang wearing wigs threatened to slit the throat of a mobile-phone shop worker during a robbery where Dh1.7 million was stolen, a court heard on Wednesday.

Ten men and a woman are on trial at Dubai Criminal Court for the raid where three employees were attacked and money was stolen from two safes.

Georgians B G, 25, G K, 36 and G M, 23, Russian R R, 31, Uzbek M H, 38, and Kazakh G A, 40, allegedly stole the money, while Russian men M M, 24, and M G, 23, and female compatriot T K, 36, hid the stolen money.

Defendant G Z, 26, was charged with aiding and hiding the defendants, knowing that they were criminals, while Russian R A, 33, was charged with being the mastermind behind the operation.

Iranian accountant N Q, 50, told police that on November 6 he was in his office when four individuals came into the store and inquired about his co-worker, Ahmed, before saying that they had Dh5 million they needed to wire to Russia.

“I told them that this company only deals in selling and importing mobile phones, then defendant B G told me angrily that he was not joking about wiring the money,” N Q said. “I told him that I will call Ahmad to resolve the issue and, at that instant, B G took out a knife that he had hidden and cut the phone cord.

“One of the defendants hit me with a stick and B G put the knife around my neck, threatening to kill me if I screamed. He went to steal Dh15,000 from a safe. B G then hit me and tied me up in a chair.”

The police report said the four defendants then attacked two other workers and stole large amounts of money from another safe in a room on the second floor. The company owner said Dh1.7m was stolen.

Shop salesman A S, 37, testified: “The defendants came to the second floor and stole Dh1.1m from the safe after I unlocked it when they threatened to kill me.”

Policeman A A, 27, was called to the scene in Naif while the robbery was continuing.

“Once I was inside the store I saw a Russian guy there and he told me that he was a customer,” the officer said. “I went to see if there were security cameras in the store when I noticed a room at the back.

“While I was approaching the door, two people came out of the room and attacked me. I fell unconscious for two minutes and, when I recovered, I saw four people trying to exit the store. I took out my gun but they fled.”

Omani policeman A S A, 32, arrived shortly afterwards and tried to keep the defendants inside the shop.

“Knowing that my partner was inside I tried to keep the door locked, but they overpowered me, opened the door and attacked me with their hands, feet and a stick. One of them cut me near my throat with a knife.”

Police arrested B G after gathering intelligence. He told them that G K, G M, R R, M H, G A and himself had plotted the heist.

After G A changed his clothes, police said he met M G and T K and gave them a bag containing Dh1m for safekeeping.

G A then allegedly called M M, who booked a room in his name to help B G hide. He also gave M M Dh350,000 to wire to his family in Kazakhstan.

M M told police he did not know about the robbery, but he gave them the Russian woman’s address.

She arrived in court with her five children and pleaded with the judge to grant her bail because her husband is in jail and she is their only custodian.

B A, G A, G K and G M admitted to the theft charges, while R R and M H denied their involvement. M M, M G and T K denied knowing the money was stolen. G Z denied aiding the defendants and said he did not know about the robbery. R A denied being the mastermind.

The next hearing is on July 1.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: May 21, 2014 04:00 AM

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