Gold heist! UAE authorities detain three suspects, recover nearly $41,000 worth of valuables
CCTV footage showed a Pakistani man snatching the gold while another man waited at the entrance of the store. (Shutterstock)
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Sharjah Police have arrested three Pakistanis who robbed the Malabar Gold and Diamonds showroom in Rolla, Sharjah, and recovered 7kg of gold and 17 pieces of diamond jewellery collectively worth nearly $41,000.
Police said that four Pakistanis were involved in the crime, one of whom fled the country a few hours after the incident. Three of them had entered the country on visit visas, and one had a residency visa.
Early on Saturday, at 3:53 am, the robbers broke into the store and took the jewellery that was displayed on the counters.
At a press conference, the Sharjah Police Chief, Saif Al Zeri, said the experience of the department's CID officers and the shop's early detection alarm contributed in solving the crime quickly arresting the culprits.
Police said the alarm connected to the police operations room alerted its staff, which immediately dispatched the nearest patrol. Officers arrived in less than five minutes.
When they reached the store, they found the front shutter closed and had to contact the owner to open the premises to check the theft. The owner arrived in 30 minutes and discovered that all the gold on display had disappeared.
Police immediately formed a team to investigate and analyse the CCTV footage, which showed a Pakistani man snatching the gold and one waiting at the entrance.
The police soon managed to identify the suspect with a residency visa. While initially denying the charges, he later informed the police about another suspect who was arrested in coordination with Dubai Police. The second suspect revealed that the gold was with a Dubai-based cargo company and would be shipped to Pakistan within hours.
Police raided the company and discovered the gold and diamonds in containers of men's clothing which was to be loaded on a cargo flight to Pakistan. Police arrested the third suspect, who said that the fourth one - who appeared in the footage and entered the country on a visit visa four days before the crime - had left for Pakistan a few hours after the theft.
Al Zeri blamed the crime on the negligence of the showroom's management, and noted they did not follow proper anti-theft procedures.
"Their lock is weak and they must not keep gold on display after closing for the day," he said
Ibrahim Al Ajill, Director of CID, said the entire robbery took only three minutes, and noted that the suspects had observed several gold shops in the area since 8am on Thursday, and decided on this particular showroom after noticing the lock and the gold on display.
The UAE has an extradition treaty with Pakistan and has already contacted Interpol to hand over the fourth suspect to be placed on trial.
The company's group executive director, Abdul Salam K.P., said the company has five branches in Sharjah, and noted that in seven years, this is the first such incident.
"We have 32 cameras inside and three cameras outside and they all function efficiently. We are learning from this experience and will strengthen the safety measures by replacing the old locks with strong and secured ones and also employing security guards to prevent such kind of theft in the future," he said.
He thanked the Sharjah Police for their prompt response, the quick arrest of the suspects and recovery of gold and diamonds.