DUBAI 18 July 2017: A Dubai Taxi driver helped identify and arrest two who set fire to a shop, and stole Dh116,000.
One of them was caught as he attempted to leave the country, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.
In October, 2016, MJ asked his friend BA, 30, to look after his business of renting equipment as he was going on long leave.
MJ also handed over his pickup’s key to BA to use so the police would not impound the car if was stopped for long time.
BA visited his friend’s company almost every day.
One day, someone called the company and asked for renting two pieces of equipment. When the accountant asked the caller for how long he needed the equipment, the caller replied that he knows BA and asked if he was available.
“I told BA who was in the shop about the caller and so he picked up the phone and talked to him. BA did not tell me for how long the two equipment would be leased and instead he asked me to issue a bill in his name,” testified the Pakistani accountant. MI, 25.
When BA failed to return the equipment, the accountant called the owner of the company in his home country and informed him about the incident.
The owner called BA to enquire about the two equipment which were worth Dh50,000. The latter denied taking them and blamed the company’s staff.
The owner of the company called the accountant and asked him to change the company’s keys and informed him that BA has nothing to do with managing it.
In December, the owner of the company returned from leave but did not communicate with BA.
On January 2, 2017, the owner put passports of the staff, the company’s cheque book in a bag and put them in the car as he was tending to renew visas.
At around 6pm he went to the car but the bag was missing.
“I suspected that BA stole it as he was the only one who had the car’s key,” suspected the owner.
The owner called BA’s mother back home and told her what her son did asking her to intervene and ask her son to return the bag.
The owner also informed a mutual friend KA and asked him to intervene to solve the problem with BA.
“As I did not get any answer from BA, I informed my sponsor, and the latter advised me to call the police,” testified the owner.
At around 11,30pm of the same day, the owner went to the shop and found it was on fire.
Police arrived and the owner accused BA.
Shop on Fire
While the owner was with the police and firefighters at the shop, a taxi driver approached them and told about two brothers, who had stopped him and asked him to drop them at the airport. But later, only one went with him.
“I drove back to give the passenger’s brother, who decided to stay back, a credit card which was left by his brother in the taxi,” the cabbie testified.
The driver told the police that a man stopped him when he was roaming at Al Quoz industrial II.
“He asked me to drop him to Sharjah International airport. He had two luggage bags. I drove for about 10 minutes in the area after which he asked me to get into a service street to pick up his brother who was the one who would travel. I stopped and the passenger got off the taxi and came with his brother after a couple of minutes. They told me that the brother is the one who will travel … so, they asked me to wait and left me leaving their bags in the car.
I waited them for about ten minutes, then the brother came back alone and asked me to drop him to Dubai International Airport,” testified the driver.
The driver noticed that the passenger’s hand was bleeding.
“I asked him the reason, he told me that he fell on the street. I dropped him at the airport and after he got off the car, I noticed a credit card and other papers were dropped from the him in the car,” said the driver who returned to the area where he picked the passenger to hand over the documents to his brother.
It was shocking for the driver to learn that the two he had served were involved in setting fire to the shop.
Police instantly circulated the name of BA at the airport and he was arrested while while attempting to leave the country.
The two passengers were not brothers as they claimed to the taxi driver. They were BA, and OM, 26, Pakistani investor.
Meanwhile, BA had forged the signature of the owner on a cheque from the cheque book he had stolen. BA and OM asked a fellow man, MA, 26, to collect the cheque from the bank.
MA collected Dh116,000 from the bank as the employee in the bank could not discover that the signature on the cheque was forged.
BA admitted that he had disputes with the owner. OM also had disputes with the owner and so they agreed to burn dowwn his company in revenge.
“OM brought petrol and poured it outside the shop and I set the fire before leaving the place,” admitted BA .
Police arrested MA and confiscated the amount with him.
MA told the police that he did not know that the cheque was stolen and forged. BA and OM also told investigators that they did not know MA before. They claimed that they have just asked him to do them a favour and collect the amount for them.
The court will reconvene on August 17.
By Lolyana Zaki