Three suspects accused of robbing antique shop

Sheikh Zayed coins and dagger among the stolen items.

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DUBAI // Three men charged with stealing almost Dh150,000 (US$40,870) worth of gold and silver, including five Sheikh Zayed memorial coins, could face sentences of five years in jail. A 26-year-old Tunisian car painter, KK, confessed to police that he stole the items from an antiques shop on March 20 with his co-defendants, LI, 42, and BM, 41. KK pleaded guilty at the Dubai Criminal Courts yesterday while LI and BM denied the charges.

According to prosecutors, the men broke into a shop in Deira's Al Murragabat district and stole three Sheikh Zayed memorial gold coins worth Dh22,500, two Sheikh Zayed memorial silver coins worth Dh9,000, a traditional "khinjar" gold dagger worth Dh85,000, and two gold sets worth Dh33,000. KK was arrested at the garage where he works in Sharjah on March 24 by CID detectives. In his confession, KK told investigators that LI and BM proposed the robbery.

He said he agreed because he was struggling financially. He claimed the other defendants asked him to rent a bus as part of their plan. On the night of the robbery, he said, they parked the bus in front of a window, broke into the shop and drilled into a safe to steal the items. After the robbery, KK said, he was given Dh1,700 as his share. The items were not recovered but DNA samples taken from a screwdriver indicated that one of the defendants used it in the robbery.

Presiding Judge El Saeed Bargouth ordered the defendants to remain in custody until the verdicts are handed down on September 8.