Dubai: An Indian is among 12 South Asian men sentenced up to five years in Dubai for breaking into a warehouse and stealing two trucks loaded with over 3,000 laptops worth 5 million dirhams.
The 12 suspects, 10 Pakistanis, an Indian and a Nepalese, played different roles in the crime.
They broke into the warehouse and bribed a Nepalese security guard to allow the trucks loaded with 3,317 stolen laptops to drive out of the port in May 2015.
In August, the Dubai Court of First Instance handed the 12 defendants, aged between 22 and 55, different jail terms varying between six months and five years, the Gulf News reported.
They were convicted of theft, bribery, breaking in, wrecking private properties, possessing stolen items, forgery and using forged papers.
A security guard, who accepted Dirhams 1,500 in bribe from a 27-year-old Pakistani man to allow the defendants to drive out two trucks in which they had loaded the stolen laptops, and the latter were both jailed five years.
The Dubai Appeal Court rejected the 12 appeals lodged by all the accused and upheld their primary rulings.
Presiding judge Saeed Salem Bin Sarm said all the accused will be deported following the completion of their punishments.
The defendants also caused 5,500 dirhams worth of damage to the warehouse of a distribution company.
A Pakistani defendant falsely reported to the police that the trucks had been stolen even though he was aware that the vehicles were used in the heist. A Pakistani convict confessed that they stole the laptops but denied wrecking the doors.
“The warehouse was open. Some of the defendants were not aware that the laptops were stolen…I asked them to drive the trucks out of the port,” the Pakistani convict told the appellate court.
The company’s sales manager testified that they locked the warehouses and left for the weekend.
“On Saturday, we discovered that the glass of a window had been broken. The watchman and I entered the warehouse and saw glass splinters all over the floor from inside. Then we went to the back doors [loading area] and discovered that the doors had been wrecked. Following a quick inventory, we discovered that 3,317 laptops had been stolen. We reported the matter to the police. When the police came, we realised that the culprits had switched off the electricity to disable the CCTV cameras,” he said.
The appellate ruling remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court within 28 days.