2 brothers accused of killing businessman over Dh1m deal

They stabbed and then suffocated him in mall’s parking area for delaying partnership agreement, court hears

Dubai: Two brothers have been accused of intentionally murdering a businessman in the underground parking of a shopping mall over a Dh1-million dodgy business deal, heard a court on Thursday.

The Afghan brothers, aged 19 and 23, allegedly visited the Pakistani businessman at his office in Naif to continue discussing the business deal about becoming partners in managing a parking land in October.

Following four days of business negotiations, the brothers visited the businessman at his office, according to records, then they took him with them in a car to the mall where the 23-year-old brother had a tailoring shop.

During the car ride, the brothers and the Pakistani had a heated argument over the delay in concluding the business agreement even though they had paid the victim Dh1 million in advance.

Shortly after, they drove the car into the mall’s underground parking, and one of the brothers dragged out a knife from the door’s pocket and tried to stab the businessman, who opened the door and ran.

The brothers ran behind the businessman, who dodged the attacks by zigzagging between cars until he was stabbed repeatedly in the chest and head.

The mall’s security guards, who first saw the knife attack on the CCTV, rushed to the aid of the businessman but they found him dead.

Records said once the guards saw them trying to pull the stabbed businessman to the rear trunk of their sports utility vehicle, the brothers jumped into the vehicle and sped off.

The guards reported the matter to the police who rushed to the murder scene.

On-site interrogation and investigation revealed that the car was registered in the name of a Pakistani person who, according to immigration records, was out of town at that time.

Meanwhile, one of the guards informed the policemen that the 23-year-old Afghan [who was seen on the CCTV footage] owned a tailoring shop on the mall’s first floor.

Police raided the brothers’ residence in Sharjah and found a ghotra (headdress) that was used in the attack. The ghotra had the victim’s bloodstains. By the time, the Afghan brothers had absconded to Al Ain from where, according to police informants, they were planning to flee the country. They were arrested from Al Ain.

Prosecutors charged the suspects with intentionally killing the victim by stabbing him with a knife and suffocating him with a ghotra.

The younger brother pleaded guilty when he appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Thursday.

“I killed the victim over a money dispute of Dh1 million … my brother had nothing to do with the crime and he was not present at the crime scene. I committed this murder alone,” the 19-year-old told presiding judge Urfan Omar.

The 23-year-old suspect entered a not guilty plea.

A Pakistani guard testified to prosecutors that he was in the control room when he spotted on CCTV screens a suspect chasing the half-naked victim, wanting to stab the latter with a knife.

“I rushed out quickly and summoned my co-worker … when we reached the spot, we saw the suspects trying to pull the businessman’s body to put him in the trunk. Once they saw us, they left the body and sped away in their car. We summoned the police instantly. When I checked the victim’s body, he was already dead,” he told prosecutors.

A police captain testified to prosecutors that an informant alerted them that the brothers were hiding in Al Ain.

“We identified the suspects from the car plate number and the trade licence of the tailoring shop. We arrested the suspects shortly before they absconded from Al Ain. During questioning, they claimed that they had been victims of a Pakistani hoodwinker who swindled their Dh1 million which they had invested in a business partnership,” the captain said.

Presiding judge Omar said the court will appoint a lawyer to defend the suspects when it reconvenes on January 18.

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