Two accused of setting company premises on fire

Third suspect charged with aiding and abetting the crime by encashing a forged cheque

17:06 July 17, 2017

Dubai: Two men have been accused of setting a company’s premises on fire and stealing a chequebook, generator and a device used for flooring.

According to records, the Pakistani owner of the company that leases equipment entrusted his 30-year-old countryman employee with managing the business while he was on holiday in October.

He handed over the keys of the premises and his car to the employee.

While the owner was in Pakistan, his accountant phoned and told him that the employee had taken a generator and the device from the premises in Al Barsha, but failed to return them.

When the owner called up the employee and questioned him, the latter denied taking anything.

The owner then instructed the accountant to change the company’s locks and notified him that the employee would no longer manage the company in his absence.

When he returned in December, the owner went to the premises and retrieved some important papers, employees’ passports and a chequebook, which he put in his bag and left in his car.

When he returned to the vehicle after attending to another task, he discovered that the bag had been stolen.

Suspecting the employee, the owner called up the man’s mother in Pakistan and told her what happened.

When the owner returned to the premises at 11pm, he found that it was on fire and called the police.

Primary interrogations revealed the involvement of the employee and a 26-year-old Pakistani businessman in the fire and theft.

Prosecutors accused both men of dousing the premises with petrol and intentionally setting it on fire. They were also accused of forging the owner’s signature on a cheque worth Dh116,000 that they asked a 27-year-old Pakistani worker to encash.

The 30-year-old suspect was solely accused of stealing the generator and flooring device worth Dh50,000. He pleaded not guilty before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Monday.

The 27-year-old suspect was charged with aiding and abetting the other two suspects by encashing the forged cheque. He told presiding judge Urfan Omar: “I am just a worker in the company. I did not steal, or forge anything. They paid me Dh100 to encash the cheque… they did not have Emirates IDs and asked me to use mine to cash the cheque.”

The owner told prosecutors that he suspected that the 30-year-old had set the premises on fire because he had called up the latter’s mother and told her what had happened.