DUBAI // A 35-year-old Algerian has been sentenced to death after being found guilty of killing a Chinese man and stealing more than Dh1 million in cash from him.
M B was convicted of the premeditated murder and robbery of H H, 21, by Dubai Criminal Court on Wednesday.
The court heard that, in June last year, M B followed his victim for three days before stabbing him to death inside a lift at his office building in Naif.
M B was arrested trying to escape to Oman a day later with Dh200,000 in cash. His wife, A M, 32, was arrested as she tried to board a plane to Algeria along with her two children from Dubai International Airport. She was carrying Dh100,000.
A M, who was pregnant at the time, denied a charge of possessing stolen money last August and was found not guilty.
“We identified the suspect after we noticed him in camera footage entering the building at the time of the murder with a bag, then we found the bag in a toilet in a nearby building and it contained a knife,” police captain H A, 39, said.
The officer said M B confessed to the murder saying he was facing financial difficulties and had no money to pay the hotel in which he was staying with his wife and children.
“He told us he had been hunting for someone to rob in the three days before the murder and, on the day of the incident, he accidentally met the victim in the lift and remembered seeing him the days before going in and out of exchange houses in the area, so he knocked him down with a stick, stabbed him and took his bag,” H A said.
M B then went to his hotel. He took some of the cash and handed the rest to his wife, instructing her to take some and give the rest to a friend, A A, 43, who would transfer it to Algeria.
Indian cleaner R A, 31, told the court he saw M B in the building several times in days leading up to the murder.
“On the day of the killing, I saw him go into the building then run out shortly after. I went to the corridor from where he came and I saw bloody shoe prints. When I followed the prints I found the body in the lift,” he said.
Records show that A M gave Dh713,000 to her husband’s friend, A A, who was later arrested at his workplace. He denied a charge of possessing stolen money when he appeared in court and was acquitted on Wednesday.
M B’s sentence is subject to appeal within 15 days.