Dubai cleaner 'organised seven man armed robbery' of exchange centre

He told them it was an act of revenge because the centre hadn’t paid him his wages for months

A cleaner stands accused of organising a Dh183,000 armed robbery of a Dubai exchange centre with six other men.

The Nigerian cleaner, 33, convinced six of his countrymen, aged between 25 and 35, the heist was easy and untraceable.

He told them it was an act of revenge because the centre hadn’t paid him his wages for months.

For three weeks before the incident, the cleaner planned the robbery with another man, who is still at large. They met with the other defendants repeatedly to convince them to assist and went to the target office to scope out the security.

Their last meeting, inside an apartment in Sharjah’s Abu Shagara, was to decide a date and time for the robbery, after which they went shopping for masks, gloves and weapons, such as axes and meat cleavers.

Four men attacked the exchange office, while two guarded the entrance and another acted as a getaway driver.

Customers who had been in the centre at the time ran out screaming, causing one of the defendants to panic, throw away his mask and abandon the others. He was later arrested trying to leave the country from Dubai International Airport.

The remaining men tried to flee the scene with stolen money, but the police had already cordoned off the scene.

The getaway driver was in the country on a visit visa and did not know its roads well. He drove for a few kilometres and then stopped, unsure of where to go.

The other men jumped out of the car and hailed a taxi. The taxi then headed into a police roadblock and the men got out and escaped on foot in different directions.

Five were arrested the same day while two remain at large. They were charged with armed robbery, which they denied in Dubai Criminal Court.

A verdict is expected on June 27.

Published: June 2, 2019 03:25 PM