The Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals has upheld a sentence of seven years and two months in jail against an Asian woman for attempted robbery at gunpoint at a money exchange in Abu Dhabi in March, and for breaching the UAE’s residency laws.
The case, known in the media as the 'money exchange ghost' as the Asian woman wore a black abaya (local traditional dress for women), black gloves and a headscarf when she attempted the robbery.
The lady threatened the employees of the exchange with what turned out to be a fake plastic gun.
Her attempt failed when an employee managed to overpower her and seize the gun.
The convict will spend seven years in jail for attempted robbery, threatening to kill others and disrupting public security.
The additional two-month jail term was handed down for illegal stay in the country in violation of the UAE Federal Law on Entry and Residence of Foreigners.
The convict will be deported from the country after completing her sentence.
She confessed to the court that she planned the robbery to pay off her debts.
The woman said she carried out the attempted robbery on the same day she came up with the scheme, and bought an abaya, a black face veil and a toy gun.
Later, she denied the charges and claimed that she was just "kidding".
The court, however, rejected her claims and explained that using a toy gun had the same effect as a real firearm could have had since it caused the victims to panic because they believed their life was really under threat and they could have accordingly responded to the demands of the attacker who brandished the gun.