Dubai : Saudi man allegedly claimed that he is from the country’s royal family to impress a Dutch gold jewellery dealer and together with two other Arabs confined, robbed and assaulted him, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.
HIT, 33, Saudi businessman, AFO, 31, Jordanian mechanic engineer and AAW, 34, Yemeni truck driver are all accused of confining JWF in a prestigious hotel for a couple of hours and asked him to pay $10,000 in ransom for his freedom. The three are also accused of forcing him to pay Dh3,200 for the dinner which they had in the hotel with his credit card, stole Dh1,000 from his wallet and accompanied him to an ATM and forced him withdraw Dh1,300. HIT and AFO are accused of kidnapping the victim. One of them held him by his shirt while the other walked next to him and forced him into a car and drove to a flat in Sharjah where they assaulted him. HIT is accused of slashing the victim with a belt and beating him up with a wooden bar.
Chief Prosecutor Khalid Salem asked the Court to award the stiffest punishment for the accused men. According to the records, the 30-year-old victim testified that he did not know the three accused before the crime. “I have been coming to Dubai on tourist visa for about three years. I have experience in the gold and precious items trade. Last February 17, a broker whose name I do not remember called me asking me to attend a meeting in Crown Plaza Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road with a Saudi prince who will represent a UAE sheikh. “I headed there at around 8pm and met a number of gold dealers in a coffee shop in the first floor of the hotel. I stayed there for about two hours until the Saudi prince arrived accompanied by guards and someone called Roger.
“He introduced himself as a Saudi prince. I was shocked when he shouted at me, asking me not to look straight at him but to look down and explained to me that this how an ordinary person talks to royalty. He hit the table with his fist and decided that I did not show respect to his royalty by claiming that I had made him wait for a week to respond to his request and agree to meet him. I argued with him that I am meeting him the same day I was asked for a meeting. One of the guards intervened and hit me on the head and pressed my head down on the table, asking me to be polite when talking to a prince. The brokers left the coffee shop and the prince remained with a woman called Linda and Roger.
“The prince then started insulting me and threatened to teach me how to respect a prince. “I was stunned when he asked me to pay him $10,000 in compensation of making him wait for one week to meet him. I called my family and friends to arrange the amount. “Then the prince and his two guards took me to the Lebanese restaurant in the fourth floor of the hotel. Two women came to meet the prince and all had dinner and alcohol. When they finished, the prince asked me to pay the bill which was about Dh3,200. I said I have only Dh1,000. He snatched my wallet and took Dh1,000 and two credit cards. He used the first one to Dh1,900 and forced me to withdraw Dh1,300 with the second one by a Dutch bank.
“All left except the prince and one of his guards. The guard held me from the back and forced me out of the hotel. The two forced me into a Hyundai car and drove to Sharjah. Half way to Sharjah, the prince asked me to give him my mobile phone. When I refused, the guard who was driving the car stopped and the prince beat me up with his hand and snatched the mobile.
“They stopped at a building and pushed me into a flat which was in a very bad condition. Then I realised that I was conned and that he was not a prince. He made me stand in front of a camera fixed on a pillar and asked me to take off my clothes… When I refused, he slashed me with a belt and a wooden bar. I took off my clothes. Then the guard left the flat and the prince undressed himself and attempted to sodomise me. I resisted with all my strength and pushed him down to the floor. I jumped up put on my clothes, deleted the recording and rushed out of the flat,” he testified.
The victim then took a taxi to his accommodation in Dubai. “I called a friend who came to my place and took pictures of my injuries. I could not go to a hospital as I was in a very bad condition. Three days later, I went with a friend to Bur Dubai Police station and reported the crime,” he told investigators. He also said that he did not seek help from the restaurant and the hotel staff because he thought they would not dare to rescue him from a prince.
“I did not resist them when they forced me to the restaurant as the prince was waiting for the $10,000 and because he had threatened not to let me go until he gets the money. Only when I saw the flat and its miserable condition I realised that he was not a prince,” the victim told investigators. The victim sustained a wound in the head and bruises in many places on his body.
SBM, a 50-year-old Indian gold dealer, testified that he was visiting Dubai for a hotel purchase deal. “I received a call from a friend called OM telling me that a Saudi prince is willing to sell 1,000 tonnes of gold. I thought of the Dutch dealer and I called him and offered the deal to him. He accepted and gave the prince a bank guarantee stating his ability to buy in response to the latter’s condition to conclude the deal.
“The prince and his guard accompanied me to the bank to check the authenticity of the guarantee. When he was told the company is serious but there isn’t enough money in the account to conclude the deal, he got very angry and said this is cheating. “The prince then asked me to meet the buyer in Crown Plaza Hotel. I called the victim and told him what had happened and so he went to meet him in the hotel.
“I also went there with my friend OM and waited for about two hours until the prince finished concluding deals with other traders. He then let all people go and then he came, sat next to us and asked us to show our IDs which he gave back after seeing. He also insulted all by saying he will teach us how we should talk to a prince,” SBM testified. The Indian broker repeated the same testimony of the prince’s victim and said that the prince had asked the Dutch to furnish a bank guarantee of $10 million and to pay Dh10,000 for the dinner or he will not let him go. Then he asked all to leave the place and so they did. Following the complaint lodged by the victim with the police. The police found the telephone numbers of the accused and trapped him by claiming to be gold buyers and arrested him and his accomplices.
The ‘Prince’ claimed that a misunderstanding made him ask the Dutchman to pay for the dinner. He also claimed that he had asked him to pay $10,000 as compensation of breaking the deal. He admitted to threatening to confine him until he paid the penalty, testified First Policeman Jamil Saleh.
The officer testified that the victim was scared even to go to the police station and lodge a complaint. He was sustained bruises at different places on his body. He said that the ‘prince’ and his Jordanian friend were wanted in breach of trust and fraud cases. Linda, 55, Tunisian clerk, and Roger, 66, a French visitor, worked together in a gold brokerage. The two made similar testimonies as they were sitting at the table with the accused and the victim. Linda knew the accused since July 2012 and introduced him to Roger a week before the incident. Although the three confessed to all the accusations before investigators, they denied them when appeared before the court which will reconvene on April 21