ABU DHABI: The jail terms of three former policemen who stole gold worth Dh1.2 million was reduced by the Dubai Appeal Court, cutting short by three years each.
The trio, who were stationed at the airport, took the seven gold bars weighing 25kg shortly after the cleaner found them while cleaning beside an escalator at the airport in August 2013.
The Dubai Appeal Court accepted the three defendants’ appeals and reduced their sentences. The defendants were identified as A.A., M.A. and S.S. The court also upheld a fine of Dh1.2 million [value of the stolen gold bars] that the convicts will jointly pay.
According to Wednesday’s ruling, S.S. will be deported following the completion of his jail term.
Court records said a Ugandan visitor had brought the bars to hand them over to a jeweller in Dubai, but he misplaced some of them at the airport and the cleaner found them and handed them over to the airport’s police.
Four other defendants, S.S’s father, a Bangladeshi, S.A, who is a police corporal, his Indian wife, C.Y., an Indian jeweller, B.R. and an Indian technician, B.S., were accused of aiding and abetting the three policemen.
The appellate court acquitted B.S. over uncorroborated evidence. Meanwhile, the presiding judge confirmed a three-month imprisonment against S.A., C.Y. and B.R.
According to the charges, A.A. [who was a police sergeant when the incident happened] abused his authority and kept the gold bars. M.A. and S.S. [who were policemen] were charged with aiding and abetting A.A.
The remaining four defendants were accused of aiding the other three by possessing the stolen bars.
Yet B.S. had his primary judgement [three-month in jail] scrapped by the Appeal Court that acquitted him on Wednesday.The defendants entered a not guilty plea.
The Ugandan visitor, who works for a Ugandan company that trades in gold, said he landed in Dubai with the three packs of gold bars to be delivered to a Dubai jeweller, who had purchased them. He claimed that he comes to Dubai routinely to deliver gold.
The visitor said when he arrived at the arrivals terminal, he lost his way and mistakenly headed to the departures terminal.
“I used one of the escalators. An airport employee directed me to the arrivals terminal. I took the stairs and while climbing down, I noticed that one of my bags was unzipped. I closed it and continued walking out. I discovered that the gold bars were missing when I reached one of the scanners. I informed the airport’s police and proceeded to the customs office where I paid the fee to bring in the rest of the gold bars into the UAE,” claimed the visitor.
A lieutenant said the police were alerted to the case when an informant told them that B.R. was looking to sell two gold bars for Dh70,000 at the Gold Souq.
“We arrested him as he tried to sell the bars illegally. He said B.S. had given him the bars and asked him to check if they could be sold. He was arrested as well,” said the lieutenant.
Police found the other bars at the technician’s residence. When questioned, he claimed that the police corporal and his wife gave him the gold and asked him to find a buyer. Police detained the remaining defendants. Wednesday’s ruling remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court within 30 day