Woman accused of Dh800,000 art and carpet theft

Dubai court hears that she returned to the home they had shared months after their break-up and while the husband was away on business to take the items.

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DUBAI // A 52-year-old woman is accused of stealing 12 oil paintings and four Persian carpets worth Dh800,000 from her husband.

After 25 years of marriage and having a 23-year-old daughter together, the Belgian couple separated and the wife moved out of the marital home in Al Wasl.

But prosecutors said that J P returned to the villa seven months later and stole the paintings and the carpets, which were made in the first quarter of the 20th century.

At Dubai Court of Misdemeanours, the woman denied the charge of theft and said she had only taken her belongings.

R J, a Filipina maid who worked for the couple for eight years, told prosecutors that she had returned to the villa at about 10am on September 18 last year and was surprised to see the defendant present.

“She had moved out of the villa in February that year after she and my sponsor separated,” she said.

“I asked her about her reasons for being in the villa and she told me that she came to take some of her belongings, then she asked me to load the carpets and the paintings into her white Ford.”

The maid said at the time her sponsor was out of the country and that she could not remember the numberplate of the car but she called her sponsor, who asked her to call police. The next hearing will be on June 10.