In an operation codenamed "Prince", Dubai Police arrested three Romanian men who worked with accomplices in France to dupe a jeweller in Dubai into giving up Dh12 million/$3,288,000 worth of diamonds, gold, certificates and bills.Police arrested the suspects and recovered all the stolen jewellery within 72 hours of the case being reported to them.
Dubai authorities are working with Interpol and their French counterparts to catch the accomplices who facilitated the fraud from Paris.
Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Dubai Police Chief, on Tuesday revealed the unusual details of the crime that spanned two cities - Dubai and Paris - at a press conference. This video, supplied by Dubai police, tells the story in greater detail.
"The Lebanese jeweller was vacationing in his home country when he received a phone call from what he thought was a potential buyer. The caller asked him to come to Paris to discuss details of the deal," Maj Gen Al Mazeina said.
Once in Paris, the jeweller met with the caller, who told him that he will send a jewellery expert to Dubai to pick and evaluate the items he would like to buy. The jeweller called up his employee at his store in Dubai and informed him of the arrangement.
On December 9, the expert, who called himself Christopher, came to the shop and spent two days evaluating the jewellery.
On the third day - December 11 - Christopher chose jewellery sets, bracelets, rings and earrings, weighing a total of 6.5kg, put them in a briefcase, taped it up and left it at the shop to be picked up later.
Later that day, another man, who identified himself as Dennis, called the jeweller's employee and fixed an appointment to pick up the briefcase on behalf of Christopher.
Meanwhile in Paris, the jeweller was asked to meet the buyer in a hotel. When he got there with his son, he was forced under the threat of violence to tell his employee in Dubai to give the jewellery - with all the documentation and stamped bills - to the man called Dennis.
He was asked to tell the employee that he had received the money in Paris.
Dennis picked up the briefcase and made a getaway
Maj Gen Al Mazeina said the jeweller was initially reluctant to report the incident to police. He eventually informed the French police and told the employee to inform Dubai Police.
"Time is very critical in such cases and although the robbery was reported around 12 hours late, we were still able to identify and catch the culprits within 72 hours before they left the country or managed to smuggle out the jewellery," Maj Gen Al Mazeina added.
Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant to the Dubai Police Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, said teams were formed and all border authorities alerted.
The teams tracked down the suspects, and raided their residence.
Christopher was arrested at his residence in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, where police seized some of the jewellery.
He led police to the second and third suspects, who were arrested as they were trying to leave the country.
Police found the rest of the jewellery at Dennis's house.
The gang confessed that they were going to divide the stolen goods between different women, who would leave the country with the jewellery.
One of the women was outside the country and Dubai Police are working with the Interpol to get her back.