5 men on trial for assault on grocery vendor, stealing cash and items

Suspects beat and stabbed vendor, stole Dh11,000 from register and fled; men refute charges in court

Dubai: Five workers have been accused of physically assaulting a grocery store vendor, injuring him with a knife, and stealing Dh11,000 worth of cash and products, a court heard on Wednesday.

The incident occurred on a Friday morning in August 2016, when the Indian vendor opened the grocery store in Al Mezher.

According to records, three Pakistani men entered the grocery, purchased beverages and left, but then returned to the store after a while.

The men assaulted the vendor physically and also stabbed him with a knife, before they stole Dh6,500 in cash, du recharge cards and two mobile phones.

Records said when the vendor tried to call for help, the assailants men beat him again and stabbed him in the hand.

The vendor reported the matter to the police, which shortly arrested the three Pakistanis and their two countrymen; they had previously committed a crime using the same modus operandi in Al Rashidiya.

Preliminary interrogations revealed that three men stormed the grocery, assaulted the vendor, robbed him and fled, while the other two kept watch outside.

Prosecutors accused the five Pakistani suspects — aged between 28 and 35 — of physically assaulting the victim with a knife and stealing money and items from the grocery.

A Pakistani clerk, 31, was accused of possessing part of the stolen items.

‘Cops coerced confession’

The six suspects pleaded not guilty and refuted the accusations when they showed up at the Dubai Court of First Instance. The suspects alleged to presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi that law enforcement officers coerced them into confessing to a crime that they did not commit.

One of the suspects said: “We were apprehended for committing another heist in Al Rashidiya and were tried for that crime. They unfoundedly accused us of this heist as well … but we did not commit it.”

A police sergeant testified to prosecutors: “The vendor claimed that three Pakistani men walked into the store on a Friday morning and bought beverages. They left and returned after a while, assaulted and stabbed him with a knife. We identified the suspects who had been arrested for another crime using the same modus operandi. The vendor identified the suspects in the police line-up. During police questioning, the suspects said that three of them stormed into the shop, assaulted the vendor and stole cash and recharge cards, while one watched the place and the fifth waited in the runaway car.”

A ruling will be heard on November 14.

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