Six jailed for confining, robbing merchant in hotel

Dubai: Six men, who lured a merchant for a sex massage at a hotel room where they stripped him naked, filmed, threatened and robbed him, have been jailed for three years each.

The incident happened in September when the Pakistani merchant, who was staying at a luxury hotel on Shaikh Zayed Road, got in touch with a woman through a dating app.

Under the impression that she was an Emirati, he agreed to meet her in the lobby of the hotel. However, she turned out to be a Nigerian, who offered him a sex massage and persuaded him to accompany her to a room.

As soon as they got into the room, a number of Nigerian men attacked the Pakistani. He was tied up, undressed and filmed naked. The men threatened to break his legs and took his bank cards and all the cash in his wallet.

Two of the men then tried to use the man’s credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM, but it didn’t work. They returned and forced him to hand over the key card of his room at his hotel and the passcode of the safety box. They stole Dh12,000 in cash and a wristwatch worth Dh26,000 from it.

Once his attackers fled the room, the victim called the police.

The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the Nigerian defendants of illegal confinement, assault, issuing threats, molestation and breach of privacy and theft using physical force.

The defendants, who pleaded not guilty, will be deported, according to Thursday’s ruling.

Police investigation led to the arrest of two unemployed Nigerians aged 32 and 28 and their four compatriots — a waiter, technician, cleaner and a security guard, aged between 21 and 32.

A police lieutenant said the victim said he had met a woman on a dating app, who claimed to be an Emirati, she but turned out to be an African.

“He claimed to have agreed to go with her for a massage in a hotel room … once they entered the room, he said, he was attacked. The culprits coerced him to reveal the passcode to his safety box. The defendants were apprehended from the same hotel where they had confined the merchant. Upon questioning, they admitted that they had carried out a number of heists using the same modus operandi,” he testified.

The primary ruling remains subject to appeal.

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