A man, charged at a Dubai court in two cases for setting nine vehicles on fire, was convicted of arson on Monday. The Court of First Instance sentenced him to two years in jail and ordered him to pay Dh1.2 million in fines.
In the first case, prosecutors accused the 23-year-old unemployed Pakistani man of pouring gasoline on one car and burning it with a lighter. The fire soon spread to the five cars around.
The cars belong to six companies.
The court sentenced him to one year in jail and ordered him to pay a Dh426,800 fine on six counts of arson in the first case. He will get deported later.
The incident that took place on July 26 was reported at Jebel Ali police station.
When interrogated by police officers and the public prosecution investigator, the accused confessed he had consumed alcohol on the day of incident. He said he poured gasoline on purpose, together with the suspects on the loose, on a car and set it on fire with a cigarette lighter. The fire quickly spread to the other cars. He claimed he started the fire after an Indian man told him to do so, for which he received Dh600.
A policeman said: "Upon his arrest, the defendant admitted to being involved in other similar complaints. There were several other arson complaints with the same modus operandi. So we had a warrant issued from the public prosecution to interrogate the suspect."
The officer told the prosecutor that the defendant admitted he had set other cars on fire in the other complaints. "He led us to where the gutted cars were parked. The man confessed he had accomplices."
A report from the general directorate of criminal evidence and criminology showed that the fire, in which six vehicles were gutted, was a deliberate act of arson.
In another case, in which the defendant was facing three counts of arson, the court jailed him for one year and ordered his deportation after paying a Dh775,818 fine. The case dates back to June 30 in Jebel Ali.
The accused has the right to appeal the verdict within 15 days.
By Marie Nammour
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