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Seven held in jewel heist


By Mohammed Elsidafy

Seven people have been arrested by Dubai Police and a warrant issued for another person who is at large in a neighbouring country after the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) cracked a case of robbery at a company based in Dubai's Al Rafaa area.

The seven arrested are all Asian nationals. They allegedly stole the contents of two safes at the company, which included money and jewellery. Most of the stolen items have been recovered, it was revealed.

Brigadier Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, CID Director, said the operations room received a report on January 17 about the robbery at a top international firm in which the contents of two big safes were looted and an attempt was made to break into a third safe. The company's electronic security door was found open and the building's watchman was found tied up.

He added the company's manager said the stolen items were diamond jewellery valued at Dh2.5 million, an archaeologically valuable gold statue worth Dh200,000, cash in euro, US dollars and pounds worth Dh100,000, as well as Dh120,000.

Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Hameed Al Merri, Director of the CID's Criminal Research Section, said it appeared the culprits were more than five people and they were fully aware of the place.

He added all the culprits had been traced within 10 hours after the team received information from a source at a nearby location who saw a car of a certain make repeatedly driving around the company premises.

The source had recorded the car's number, which was the first clue that led to the culprits. The car's owner was arrested less than an hour after the robbery was reported. Upon interrogation, he revealed the details of the crime.

Al Merri added there were eight culprits – seven who are arrested and one who had escaped to a neighbouring country with the statue. All the stolen items were recovered, with the exception of the statue.

The defendant admitted he suggested robbing the company after seeing how boxes of jewellery and money were put away into safes when he visited each month. Since the company's offices are on the third floor of a building with an electronically locked iron door, he asked a key manufacturing expert of Asian nationality to help.


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