Ceiling tunnel used in Dubai jewellery heist

Three men tell police they broke into the shop's office by digging a hole in the floor of their apartment.

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DUBAI // Three men confessed in court this morning to robbing a jewellery store by tunneling through the store's roof.

The three Bangladeshi defendants, MR, 30; MB, 30; and BH, 33, all of whom are labourers, rented a first-floor apartment in the Rifaa district which sat above the offices of Viral Jewellers.

On August 28, 2010, using a concrete cutter and other tools, the men cut the electric power between 1.30 am and 4.30 am to switch off the shop's motion sensors, dug the hole and sneaked into the store manager's office on the mezzanine floor, prosecution records show.

The defendants then covered the security cameras with towels as they stole two laptops and some jewellery, worth Dh6,700 total, records show.

But when they attempted to leave the office, alarms went off and police arrived minutes later.

Viral Bharat, the store owner, told prosecutors he estimated damage to the security equipment amounted to about Dh4,600.

Police located the tenant of the first floor apartment and, according to police testimony, the owner said he had sublet the apartment to MB since June.

MB was located in Sharjah and arrested.

“He confessed willingly to the crime to us and said that MR and BH helped him. We recovered from MB the jewellery and a laptop, while the second laptop was recovered from B H,” a police sergeant told prosecutors.

Police also recovered from the apartment several items that were matched to the defendants through DNA tests.

Judge Fahmy Mounir Fahmy of the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance adjourned the case to March 27 to issue a verdict.