The UAE’s claims to robbery fame
British police are hunting for robbers who carried out the UK’s biggest-ever jewelry heist. The UAE is no stranger to big-time thieves.
August 12, 2009 4:04 by Aarti Nagraj
Police in the UK are currently on the lookout for robbers who carried out Britain’s biggest gem heist, stealing £40 million ($66 million) worth of jewels from the Graff store in London. Two armed robbers made off with dozens of rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches on August 6.
Though CCTV footage of the robbery has now been released to the media, reports speculate that both the goods and the robbers have probably fled the country by now.
The UAE has also dealt with its share of major robbery attempts.
Last month, the Abu Dhabi police announced that they were able to prevent a AED153.9billion ($42 billion) robbery attempt from the UAE Central Bank. Two attempts were made to withdraw money from the bank using forged documents, says Brigadier Maktoum Al Sharifi, the director of Criminal Investigation Department at Abu Dhabi Police.
In May this year Zoran Kostic was arrested in France. The 39-year-old Yugoslavian is suspected of involvement in an AED14 million robbery that took place in the UAE in 2007. In April of that year, masked men entered the Graff jewelry store at Wafi mall, threatened staff, and took off with diamond jewelry and watches. The Dubai police arrested three men at the time, but other suspects were thought to have fled the country.
A masked man raided a jewelry store in Al Qasr Hotel in Jumeirah in February this year, and escaped with jewelry and precious stones worth about AED24 million. While fleeing the robber dropped a ring worth $750,000 and a necklace worth $330,000. One of the witnesses reportedly told the police that he chased the robber, but could not catch him.
In March 2006, two masked thieves broke into the Ahmad Seddiqi & Sons jewelry store at Wafi City, before later raiding BurJuman mall. They stole jewelry worth AED15 million and then escaped to Belgrade. The robbers were captured last year with the help of Interpol.