Four men who attacked their company's accountant with pepper spray then stole almost Dh700,000 from him will spend two years in jail each.
The company's driver was also sentenced to two years in jail after Dubai Criminal Court convicted him of aiding and abetting the four men.
On May 15, the victim and his colleague were getting into the company's car, along with the accused driver, unknowing that he had plotted with the four other defendants to steal the money.
The defendants, two Pakistanis, aged 30 and 40, and three Bangladeshis aged 28, 29 and 29, carried out their crime at 10.30am near a bank on Sheikh Zayed Road.
"I received a call informing me of the incident in which a bag containing Dh679,665 was stolen from the accountant after he was attacked with pepper spray," said a Pakistani employee, 36.
He said the accountant had just withdrawn the amount from the bank. "I immediately headed to the two men and accompanied them to the police station where we reported the incident," said the employee.
Later, police told him investigations revealed that the crime was carried out by some of the company's employees.
"Two of them worked as drivers, two others as construction workers and the fifth as a mechanic," a witness said.
The accountant told prosecutors that when they left the bank, the driver stopped the car suddenly after which the four men open the car's doors and attacked them while inside the car. The men sprayed them with pepper spray before stealing the bag containing the cash.
"It was the driver who called police at first, then I was informed by police that it was him who planned the whole thing," said the accountant.
A police lieutenant said the driver was suspected by police for his involvement in the crime after giving a different account of the incident to that provided by the accountant and his colleague.
"The accountant and other man said that the attackers were Asians, the driver said that they were Africans," said the police officer.
He said police then arrested all five men who admitted to their crimes during questioning.
"They said the driver was the master mind behind the job," said the officer.
The money was found in the men's possession when they were arrested the following day.
The five men denied a robbery charge but were all convicted and will be deported after serving their terms.