Chilean crime gang jailed over Dh20 million Dubai villa raid

The three flew into Dubai on tourist visas to target villas in the emirate's wealthiest neighbourhoods

A Chilean crime gang who flew to Dubai on tourist visas to carry out a Dh20 million raid on a British businessman's home have been jailed for a total of six years.

The masked trio, aged 27, 30 and 31, smashed a first-floor window to gain access to the sprawling Emirates Hills villa on the night of February 25.

The intruders destroyed a safe and escaped with a haul of valuables, including a collection of gold and diamond jewellery, 15 watches, handbags and luxury brand sunglasses, worth more than Dh20.7 million.

The burglary was discovered by one of the homeowner's staff when he went to the first floor of the property to switch on the air conditioning.

After finding the room had been ransacked, he alerted his employer who in turn called police.

In court records, the British businessman, 66, said he could not be sure of the exact number of items taken, as he and his wife stored many valuables at the villa.

Police tracked down and arrested the three thieves the following day.

During police questioning, the offenders admitted travelling to Dubai in order to burgle villas in affluent neighbourhoods in the emirate.

They said they rented a car on their arrival at Dubai International Airport and drove around Emirates Hills to scout potential targets, before homing in on the businessman's unfenced villa in the gated community.

The men bought gloves, masks, two screwdrivers and a torch the day before carrying out the burglary.

All three defendants admitted charges of burglary and damaging property during a hearing at Dubai Criminal Court earlier this month.

The men were each jailed for two years at the court on Monday and will be deported after serving their jail terms.

Updated: June 25, 2019 05:14 AM