Two men jailed for killing Dubai businessman

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Aden - Yasmin Abdel Azim - Dubai: An Egyptian man has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for luring a businessman into having sex in his hotel room, and then murdering him and stealing his credit cards.

The Dubai Court of First Instance heard on Tuesday that in April 2018, the American businessman’s cousin reported the latter as missing at the Al Muraqqabat police station after having lost contact with him for two days.

The Jordanian cousin is also believed to have received a phone call from Palestine, from an accountant who informed him that the businessman’s credit cards were being used but he was not answering his American phone number.

Records said the cousin cooperated with Dubai Police and that primary interrogations led them to the hotel where the American had checked in to stay during his last visit.

After obtaining the prosecutors’ warrant to break into the hotel room, crime scene investigators found the businessman lying naked and dead in his room.

On checking the hotel’s surveillance cameras, police identified a 25-year-old Egyptian visitor, who was seen as the last person to have accompanied the deceased into his room. He later left the room alone.

Police apprehended the visitor and later his 24-year-old countryman who was using the victim’s credit cards. The latter was sentenced to seven years in jail. Further interrogations led to the arrest of two more Egyptian men, a cleaner, 28 and a baker, 30, but they were not found guilty of murder.

Prosecutors had initially accused the four Egyptians of killing the American businessman and stealing Dh10,000 from his bank accounts by using his stolen credit cards. According to the charge sheet, the 28-year-old suspect masterminded the crime and delegated criminal roles to each of the suspects. Prosecutors said the quartet decided to target the businessman and steal his credit cards because they were in a financially desperate situation.

Records said the 30-year-old Egyptian was tasked with befriending the victim and accompanying him to his room.

According to the accusation sheet, when the 30-year-old failed to accomplish the mission, the 25-year-old befriended the deceased and escorted him to his hotel room.

After the 25-year-old suspect failed to steal the credit cards because he had a scuffle with the American, he repeatedly pounded the latter’s head with a wooden plank, stole his wallet and absconded.

A policeman claimed to prosecutors: “The 25-year-old alleged that he met the businessman at a cafe and promised to help him find a job. He alleged that he agreed to accompany the businessman to his hotel. When the businessman reportedly tried to molest him, he claimed that he hit him on the head with the wooden plank and fled the scene after stealing his wallet, phones and belongings. The 25-year-old alleged that he did not know what happened to the American who fell unconscious. He also alleged that he took refuge at the place of his cousin, the 24-year-old suspect. The two suspects withdrew cash from the victim’s credit cards and went to clubs and bars to drink.”

The two convicted defendants will be deported after serving their jail terms.

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