Eight Nigerians, have been sentenced to death in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates for a string of robberies at money exchanges and cash machines (ATMs) across the emirate in December 2016.
A total of 20 suspects were initially held for attacking security guards in four violent attacks at ATMs and money exchanges across Sharjah in late 2016. Out of 20 suspects, nine were convicted.
Some of the accused confessed to their crimes while others denied the charges levelled against them. The gang who were all in the UAE on visit visas were said to be highly organised and plotted a string of orchestrated attacks to ambush security trucks that were transporting money boxes to and from ATMs, and at least one money exchange in Sharjah.
Suspects were taken into custody in cooperation with police in Dubai, Ajman and Fujairah. The gang committed the heists at the busiest times of day when streets were crowded, which added to the confusion and enabled them to escape, said police.
A prosecutor told reporters that as per the law, a group of people who threaten the life of others while committing robbery are subject to the death sentence, however an appeal is expected to be launched and the sentences could get downgraded to life imprisonment.
The suspects were identified as Chimuanya Emmanuel Ozoh, Benjamin Nwachukwu Ajah, Kingsley Ikenna Ngoka, Tochukwu Leonard Alisi and Chile Micah Ndunagu.
A top police official said the suspects came to the UAE on visit visas on March 18.