JEDDAH — Security patrols in Jeddah smashed a six-member gang which impersonated security personnel and robbed the representative of a commercial establishment.
The gang members were caught after police received a complaint from a Yemeni expatriate, who said he was attacked by the gang when he was carrying SR455,000 to deposit in the bank.
The man said mobile phone prepaid cards worth SR100,000 were stolen from him.
The Yemeni said when he parked his car, a vehicle blocked his way and a fair-skinned man dressed as a security official got down while five others in Saudi attire remained in the vehicle. The people in plainclothes claimed they were from the CID.
In his complaint the Yemeni said the men ordered him into their vehicle claiming they would take him to the police station for questioning as there were some complaints against him. Instead, they took him to a walled compound in Al-Salama District where they beat him up and got away with his bag full of prepaid mobile phone cards. The man however managed to protect his cash.
The assailants left the scene in a hurry without realizing the expatriate had SR500,000 cash in his possession. The man immediately reported the incident to the security authorities giving descriptions of the impersonators and the vehicle they were driving.
Police mounted a massive search operation and put up several checkpoints in the area.
A patrol team, meanwhile, spotted a car that matched the description given by the Yemeni in suspicious circumstances. The vehicle was stopped and the occupants were taken to the police station for questioning.
First Lt. Nawaf Al-Bouq, spokesman for Jeddah police, confirmed the arrests. The six men, who were aged between 25 and 29 years, were from a neighboring country and were illegal residents in the Kingdom. They have been handed over to the investigation department, Al-Bouq said.
Police are still trying to determine whether the gang was involved in other crimes.
Police have intensified investigations into the death of an Arab man, whose blood-stained body was found lying on the floor of a ramshackle house in Jeddah’s Al-Azizia District recently.
Security officials arrived at the scene after a relative alerted them. Police suspect the man was murdered and have launched an investigation. Forensic experts collected fingerprints and other evidence from the scene.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the victim was known to his assailant. The victim sustained several knife stabs in different parts of his body.
Police spokesman Al-Bouq said investigations were still in the beginning stage and details would be announced soon.
Jeddah’s Al-Azizia district is known for its ramshackle houses whose residents mainly include members of the Arab and African communities.