Emiratis warned to be cautious on vacation in London after two men arrested in connection with recent UAE family attack

Published May 1st, 2014 - 06:10 GMT

Two men have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery of three Emiratis at a flat in Paddington recently, the London Police said on Wednesday.

The suspects, both in their 20s, were arrested in Kilburn and is currently in custody at a central London police station.

Meanwhile, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked citizens traveling abroad, especially to the UK — whether for tourism, study or medical treatment — to take important measures for their safety.

In a statement on Wednesday, Rashid Ali Al Dhaheri, Director of Nationals’ Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the ministry is keen to provide UAE citizens with all means of safety and comfort so as to enjoy their vacation abroad, free of troubles or emergency. Therefore, it advised UAE travellers to observe a number of important advisories, including registration for the Ministry’s Tawajedi services (My Whereabouts) which is primarily aimed at assisting UAE citizens who are facing emergency situations or crises abroad.

The London police said the victims were not targeted because of their nationality. “We are being assisted by our policing counterparts in the UAE and a senior police officer from the UAE is currently in London working alongside Metropolitan Police officers,” a police spokesperson said.

An Emirati couple had rented the apartment during their stay in London, while the third victim was visiting them. None of them was injured in the attack and did not require hospital treatment.

The police were informed about the armed robbery at a flat in Westbourne Gardens on April 22 at 1am. Four masked men — two of them armed with handguns and one with a knife — forced their way into the premises and attacked a 51-year-old Emirati, his 47-year-old wife and another man, 59. Three other men stood guard outside the property.

The knife used in the attack was later described as a “large butcher knife”. One of the guns used was silver in colour, while the other was black.

The gang threatened the Emiratis before fleeing with valuables including two mobile phones, around Dh4,000 (£650), £2,400 in cash, two passports, handbags, a bank card and identity documents.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised all citizens to save any Short Message Service (SMS) they receive from the ministry when they arrive at their foreign destinations, which contains contact numbers with the UAE Embassy in that country.

Al Dhaheri added that citizens are also requested to select a safe and secure residential property, make sure that doors of their apartments are properly locked, double check the identity of visitors before opening the door, make sure that they do not leave their children alone outdoors and also avoid going out alone late at night.

Al Dhaheri also emphasised on the importance of avoiding lavishness and wearing expensive clothes and accessories of famous brands which draw the attention of others in public places where there are people of different nationalities and interests.

He also urged the citizens to stay away from suspicious places where aggressive persons can loiter, and take extra precautions while shopping and walking outside. They should not carry large amount of money and instead use credit cards.

They are also advised to report any urgent situation they could face to the security authorities and contact the UAE Embassy for assistance.

Al Dhaheri called on the UAE citizens to regularly review travel updates and advices available on the ministry’s website (www.mofa.ae) and smart applications.

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