UAE : Two Indians Accused of Killing Compatriot and Covering Up


Two Indians accused of killing compatriot and covering up

DUBAI - AUG 04: Two Indian men are accused of killing a man in an airport car park over fears he would report them for embezzling.

According to the prosecutor’s report read in Dubai’s Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday, the killing occurred on November 16 in the Terminal 2 parking area at Dubai International Airport.

The victim, Younis Akbar Younis, whose age is not known, worked at Emirates Airline’s parts and maintenance depot at the airport with one of the accused, identified as SB, 33. Mr Younis, who also was an Indian national, is reported to have had evidence that SB had embezzled an unknown amount of money from Emirates Airline and had threatened to have him arrested if the funds were not returned.

Fearing arrest, SB is accused of contacting the second accused, identified as TA, 23, two months before the killing and telling him of his plan.

TA initially refused to help carry out the killing, but, after being pressured by SB, eventually agreed, the prosecution said. Both defendants are alleged to have monitored the victim for several weeks to determine the best place and time to kill him.

SB is accused of leaving his home in the Naif District of Dubai on November 16 carrying with him in his Toyota Yaris a butcher’s knife, a smaller knife, a white cloth and a plastic bag to the airport, where he met TA.

Both men parked near the victim’s car and lay in wait for him, prosecutors say.

According to the prosecutor’s report, when Mr Younis sat in the driver’s seat of his car after finishing work at 3pm, the two defendants rushed into the car and attacked him.

TA is alleged to have sat in the front passenger seat and restrained Mr Younis’s hands while SB, sitting in the rear seat, used the butcher’s knife to inflict a fatal wound to Mr Younis’s neck.

Once Mr Younis had died, SB covered his head with a plastic bag and laid the driver’s seat back to keep the body out of sight. The defendants then took Mr Younis’ wallet and mobile telephone, the prosecution said.

Approximately three and a half hours after Mr Younis was killed, Airport Police found the bloody scene while on routine patrol.

As part of its investigation, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Dubai Police took fingerprints from the vehicle and examined Mr Younis’s mobile telephone records and found that the last person to have called him was SB. Fingerprint evidence from the car indicated that SB was present at the time of the killing. He was arrested two days later in the Naif District.

The prosecution said that while being interrogated, SB revealed the identity of TA, who worked at a cement factory. TA was subsequently arrested.

In his defence, SB said that he had a meeting planned with Mr Younis on the day of the killing to discuss returning money he had borrowed from Mr Younis.

SB said that when he told Mr Younis that he did not have the money, Mr Younis cursed him and threatened to tell “everyone” that SB slept with prostitutes. According to SB’s statement to CID, Mr Younis threatened to rape SB’s wife if he was not paid, which angered SB to the point of murder. SB denied that the killing was premeditated.

When TA was arrested, he told police he had initially refused to help SB kill Mr Younis but agreed after SB reminded him that he would not have a job in Dubai without SB’s help.

According to TA, SB planned the killing weeks beforehand and had tried once before to ambush Mr Younis but decided against killing him that day as the Terminal 2 car park was crowded.

The case has been adjourned until August 31.

Why food inspectors closed meat counters

ABU DHABI - AUG 04:  Meat counters at two of the capital’s biggest supermarkets were closed down for offences that included relabelling and selling out-of-date products, it was disclosed yesterday.

For the first time, a report by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) provided details of the violations that temporarily closed meat counters at Lulu Hypermarket in Al Wahda Mall and Carrefour in Marina Mall.

The violations posed a risk to the health of consumers, with some constituting “trade fraud”, the report said.

Mohamed al Reyaysa, a spokesman for the ADFCA, said the report was a “clear message” that the authority took its responsibility seriously.

“We are taking care of any kind of violations, either small or big,” he said. “We have a red line that we don’t want anybody to consume any food that is below our health and safety standards.”

According to the report, inspectors found Carrefour selling meat past its sell-by date, and selling meat without knowing its origins. The inspectors also found workers defrosting chicken in water, a health hazard.

Although the counter was considered a fresh meat establishment, staff were storing products in a deep freezer, the report said.

Some of these violations meant the store was guilty of “trade fraud”.

“There are different meats which are repackaged by removing the old package and placing it in a new package with a new production and expiry date, or mixing it with new meat,” the report said.

Carrefour could not be contacted for comment.

At Lulu Hypermarket, meat past its sell-by date was on display, said the report, as was meat without any labelling, while dates on cans of meat had been altered.

The inspectors also found by-products from the deboning process – considered not fit for human consumption – in minced meat products for sale.

The store was also warned about cleanliness after inspectors noted that rubbish bags were not in bins.

As a result of the inspections, meat production and the display of minced meat at Carrefour was halted and the counter shut down for three days in June. The authority also destroyed 58kg of meat products.

In July, Lulu’s meat section was shut down for three days.

A spokesman for Lulu acknowledged there had been violations, but said they were limited and the company was working on improving its standards.

“There have been a total of 43 visits to our store by ADFCA officials to date this year and only on three occasions have they found violations on our part,” he said.

“We have taken serious note of these issues and have done a thorough investigation of the whole procedure to rectify any hitches.”

The spokesman said some of the Government’s food safety requirements were difficult to understand.

“In some instances we have found there is a lack of clarity with regard to some of the ADFCA guidelines, and we are meeting with them to clarify these issues,” he said.

The Healthy Food Restaurant in Musaffah and the Golden Sun Cafeteria in Mina Street were also listed as violators in the authority’s report, which was a result of routine inspections, surprise visits and undercover shopping by officials.

The authority also follows up complaints from consumers who report violations.

“We’re not going to be everywhere all the time, so we call upon consumers to help,” Mr al Reyaysa said.

Establishments first receive a warning for violations, followed by official complaints that are settled in court and can involve fines. The third step sees the store or restaurant shut down for three to 10 days.

Closings were imposed so the store could address violations or as a punitive measure, Mr al Reyaysa said.

The authority also releases the names of the offending establishments to the media.

“They are back [open] but they don’t have those violations now,” Mr al Reyaysa said. “We have promised to have transparency with the public, so we have to mention their name even if they close for half an hour.

“We have to mention their name to make sure they don’t come back to this, and this is something we are serious about.”

Repeat offenders might have their licences taken away, he said.

The authority has seen a decline in the number of violators since operations began in 2005.

“Our role was one of raising awareness in the beginning,” Mr al Reyaysa said.

“Then we came to the point of accountability.”

Opinions differ on cause of UAE dust

UAE - AUG 04: This is the dust cloud that has been blighting the UAE, as seen from space. The image was captured 700km away by a Nasa satellite, Terra. It shows an enormous concentration of dust heading towards the UAE from Iraq on Friday.


Launched in December 1999 as the flagship of the Earth Observing System project run by America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Terra has been gathering information as part of the battle against global warming.

What it captured in this image, experts say, is incontrovertible evidence of man’s harmful impact on the planet.

The picture was taken by Terra’s Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer – Modis, for short – which can view the entire surface of the planet every two days.

The size of the cloud was unusual, experts said.

“This is a recent phenomenon,” said Adnan Akber, a researcher in the water resources division of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. “This year, in particular, we are receiving intensive dust storms that are also affecting you in the UAE.”

Such storms have a complex set of causes, but the main factor, according to Mr Akber, is perhaps the most surprising.

There have been many geopolitical consequences of the 2003 invasion of Iraq – and now part of the fallout can be found in the orange dust coating cars all over the UAE, he said.

“If you’re asking what the major cause of the dust is in the UAE, I would have to say the military operations in Iraq are really changing the surface terrain there,” he said.

Six years of troop and vehicle movements had, he said, ground soil into fine grains, sending powder billowing skywards.

“What that movement does is it disintegrates the soil particles, which, in the past, were naturally compacted,” he said. “Now those particles are being loosened, so it’s easier for that dust to be picked up.”

Mr Akber also pointed to a second year of drought in Iraq, compounded by the lowering of water levels in the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers by damming and irrigation projects upstream in Turkey and Syria, which had contributed to the arid conditions in Iraq.

Nasa’s analysis of the dust cloud image concurred with several of his conclusions. It said: “Some causes included regional drought, water diversion, desertification and power shortages that interfere with irrigation systems. The combination of factors led to a build-up of dust in Iraq that could be lofted into the atmosphere by even slight winds.”

Other experts say military action may not necessarily be the primary cause of the dust.

Alan Nicol, director of policy and programmes at the World Water Council, said billions of tonnes of sand would probably have to be dislodged.

“The dust could be more linked to the draining of marshes in southern Iraq,” he said. “And it has been drier since [Turkey] built the dams in the north.”

According to the US military’s Iraq weather office, while an average dust storm stays at 1,500 metres or less, some dust storms in northern Iraq last year reached 5,500 metres. Air Force Lt Col Jeffrey Cox told the US Army’s Military News in July last year that the incidence of dust storms had been three times the average.

“We have lots of fine dust that gets picked up by the winds here, and since it is so fine, it takes a while to settle down,” he said.

Fadhil Faraji, director general of the Iraqi Agriculture Ministry’s Department for Combating Desertification, told the Los Angeles Times last week that 90 per cent of the country’s land was desert, or becoming desert, and what was left was disappearing at a rate of five per cent every year.

Women cover their mouths during a sand storm in Baghdad, Iraq. Karim Kadim / AP Photo
“Severe desertification is like cancer,” he said. “When the land loses its vegetation cover, it’s very hard to get it back.”

According to Awn Abdullah, head of the National Centre for Water Resources Management, part of the problem was that Turkey and Syria, which are suffering their own water shortages, had reduced the flow of the Euphrates by half.

Ahmed Habib, an Abu Dhabi-based weather forecaster with the National Meteorological Centre, said low pressure and light winds were keeping the dust suspended over the UAE.

“I don’t know what happened in Iraq, but the quantity of the dust coming from Iraq is increasing,” he said.

Stronger winds lifted the haze and dumped it on the UAE last week. “Now we are having a low-pressure effect, so the dust stands over us and is moving very slowly,” Mr Habib said.

Visibility is improving, however. On Sunday, it was down to 300 metres in places. Yesterday, it was between 2,000 metres and 5,000 metres.

“We will have a normal haze on Wednesday,” he said. “Not clear 100 per cent, but it will be better and there should be no warnings for anybody.”

Lack of rainfall in Iraq for the past two years had compounded the man-made problems, according to a duty forecaster for the Dubai Meteorological Office.

“It’s made it relatively easy for dust to get lifted with strong winds over that region,” he said. “Strong winds are able to lift dust high in the air, carry it along and dump it over us.”

Much of the orange sand caked on car windows here, he said, had travelled at least the length of the Gulf.

“This dust is very definitely not from here,” he said. “It originated over in Iraq.”

While the north-westerly winds – shamal – were stronger last week as they funnelled into the Gulf, their power had weakened over the UAE.

“By the time the wind gets here, the strength is diminished and it’s almost a stagnant situation, where the dust cloud is sitting on top of us, but there’s not enough wind to blow it someplace else,” said the forecaster.

Dr Tarek el Araby of the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, which runs Abu Dhabi’s air-quality monitoring network on behalf of the Environment Agency, said the danger of the cloud laid in the unusually minute size of the particles.

Small particles of dust, smoke, heavy metals, spores and pollen are present in the air every day. A concentration higher than 150 micrograms per cubic metre over 24 hours is deemed risky, but last Saturday amounts greater than 2,000 micrograms per cubic metre were recorded.

The concentration was decreasing, said Dr el Araby, but breathing outdoors still carried considerable risk, especially for children and people with respiratory illnesses.

“It is now at 1,500 micrograms per cubic metre,” he said. “It is not so dangerous as people do not spend the whole day outside, but it is very important for everyone to know that you should stay indoors and limit all outdoor activities.”

Particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres can travel deep into the lungs, where they can cause diseases such as emphysema and cancer.

Although the data available for Abu Dhabi at the moment show only the cumulative concentration of all dispersed particles, Dr el Araby said the concentration of these smaller but more dangerous particles is also high.

“They are usually a quarter of the total,” he said.

Doctors urged asthmatics to avoid the dusty conditions as much as possible.

In six days, Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah had admitted 60 patients suffering asthma attacks, said Dr Fatimah Ibrahim, the manager.


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Title: UAE : Two Indians Accused of Killing Compatriot and Covering Up

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