Police on Monday recovered more than seven kilograms of gold stolen from a jewellery outlet in Sharjah and arrested three men suspected to be involved in the crime, officials said. One suspect is absconding.
Police said the three Pakistani suspects were in the UAE on a visit visa and were arrested in Dubai. The gang committed the theft at 3.52am on Friday at Malabar Gold & Diamonds outlet in Al Rolla area.
The suspects stole gold jewellery kept in display glass counters. On Monday, officials revealed details of a police operation titled ‘Al Fajr hour’ or ‘Dawn hour’ during a press conference at police headquarters.
Brigadier Saif Ziri Al Shamisi, Sharjah Police commander-in-chief, and Colonel Ebrahim Al Ajel, cirector of Criminal and Investigation Department, attended the conference.
The three suspects who were arrested entered the UAE on a visit visa just four days before they committed the theft. The fourth suspect, who was shown entering the shop on CCTV, left the country just four hours after the crime.
The police have issued an arrest warrant and informed Interpol. On Friday morning, the store employees received a call from Sharjah Police alerting them about the theft, Abdul Basheer, Zonal Head at the Malabar Gold & Diamonds, Sharjah branch, told Gulf News earlier.
The police said the alarm went off when the thieves broke the door and entered the shop at 3.52am. In just three minutes, the suspects entered the shop, collected the gold and ran away. All jewellery stores, money exchanges and banks are linked to the police operations room. The police are alerted after alarms installed in these establishments go off. But in this case the suspects had left the store even though the police arrived within three minutes.
One suspect was standing outside and kept watch while the other suspects broke the display glass and collected several pieces of jewellery, including necklaces and rings, weighing a total of 7 kilograms, in addition to diamonds. The value of the stolen goods is Dh1.5 million, said Abdul Basheer.
Colonel Ebrahim Al Ajel said the suspects meticulously planned their crime, On Thursday, they spent the day wandering in the area to choose a target. They noticed that the Malabar outlet kept jewellery in glass counters.
The suspects broke the lock of the shutter door before breaking the glass door. They kept the shutter down to avoid any suspicion.
The police identified one suspect and arrested him in cooperation with Dubai Police in just 24 hours. He led the police to his partners and revealed that they had kept the gold in a shipping container, hidden inside clothes.
The container was scheduled to be shipped to Pakistan but the police reached the cargo company and recovered the stolen gold from Jebel Ali Port in Dubai. The store has 16 surveillance cameras and CCTV footage showed one suspect emptying display counters.
Meanwhile, Shamlal Ahamed, managing director, International Operations, Malabar Gold & Diamonds, said earlier in a statement to Gulf News: “We are extremely happy with the manner in which the Sharjah Police have handled the incident.
The response from the concerned authorities has been fast and immediate. All steps have been taken by them to catch the individuals behind this incident. The prompt response from the police has helped us to get back to normal business activity from yesterday afternoon itself. We are fully confident that the culprits will be caught soon. We have also ensured that the needs of our customers are not compromised on account of this.”