Mall parking lot arsonist loses leniency plea - GulfToday

Mall parking lot arsonist loses leniency plea

Jail

The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter

A man behind a revenge arson that saw 13 vehicles gutted in flames must serve three years in jail plus deportation, a jury ruled on Wednesday.

The Asian bus driver, 42, will pay a Dhs634, 616 fine and forfeit the cost of damage. He burned vehicles outside Outlet Mall in an incident sparked by a motive to burn the bus of a competitor.

At around 4pm on May 12 2018, he dowsed the Toyota Coaster’s interior with petrol, lit a cigarette and tossed it inside. The fire extended to 12 other vehicles in the mall’s external parking lot.

He confessed before the police and prosecutors and at the Dubai Criminal Court and sought leniency. The court jailed him for three years plus deportation and slapped him with the fine.

However, he refused to attend Dubai Appeals Court questioning, a jail representative told the court. The court upheld the punishment and additionally ordered him to forfeit.  

On the record, the competitor –a Pakistani driver, 24- said a transport company tasked him with transporting passengers employed at shops in the mall. Each was paying a Dhs250 monthly fare.

“I was having lunch when a friend contacted telling me my Coaster was on fire with other adjacent vehicles,” he said adding that he learnt from police the defendant was behind the arson.

An Emirati corporal said surveillance cameras showed a man with burning clothes running away after the fire broke out. He removed the clothes and escaped inside a bus.

Police noted the bus’s number and discovered it belonged to a public transport company –driven by the defendant. He was intercepted at the airport and taken to Al Barsha Police Station.

He said he was competing with the victim in transporting the mall’s employees. “The victim habitually lowered the monthly fare. I kept rivaling with him so I could not lose customers. He refused.

“I decided to take revenge,” he confessed. He wetted the victim’s bus’s seats with petrol, smoked a cigarette and tossed it inside. The outburst of flames caused his clothes to catch fire.