2 vendors jailed for stealing from grocery

Defendants stole Dh12,000 worth of juices, fizzy drinks and detergents and sold them to nearby grocery store

Dubai: Two vendors stole detergent powders, juices and fizzy drinks from a grocery where they worked and sold them to another grocery, heard a court on Monday.

A 22-year-old Pakistani vendor, who worked in the grocery owned by an Iranian merchant, asked the owner to give him the keys of the warehouse to transport some items to the grocery in April.

Once the merchant gave the keys to the vendor, the latter disappeared for a long time and when he went to check on him, he didn’t find him or the cart they use to carry the products.

The vendor panicked and got confused when the merchant asked him why he was late after he returned to the grocery. After the vendor then admitted that he had been stealing products and selling them to a nearby grocery, the merchant called the police.

Police apprehended the Pakistani and his 21-year-old Afghan co-worker, who had encouraged him to steal and sell the products.

On Thursday, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the defendants of stealing from the store where they worked.

The Pakistani defendant stole juices, fizzy drinks and detergent powders worth Dh5,000 and the Afghan stole fizzy drinks worth Dh7,000.

The defendants, who pleaded guilty, will be deported, said presiding judge Urfan Omar in courtroom three.

The duo told the court that their Iranian employer had waived his complaint against them.

The merchant said when the Pakistani vendor was late in returning from the warehouse, he followed him. “I didn’t find him at the warehouse and couldn’t see the cart that is used to carry the products. I confronted him once he returned and at first he was afraid to talk. When I warned him that I would call the police, he admitted immediately that he took two boxes of detergents, four cartons of juice and beverages and sold them to a nearby grocery. He also told me that the Afghan defendant was the one who encouraged him to do so. The Pakistani accused told me that he had been selling stolen products for nine months and the Afghan admitted that he had been doing the same for a year,” he said.

The primary ruling remains subject to appeal.

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