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Abu Dhabi Police Nabs Armed Abaya Clad Robbery Suspect

Abu Dhabi Police Nabs Armed Abaya Clad Robbery Suspect

The fully veiled suspect allegedly threatened employees of an Abu Dhabi money exchange with a fake plastic gun.

A woman, clad in an abaya and veil, who attempted to rob a money exchange centre in Abu Dhabi has been arrested by police.

The suspect allegedly threatened employees at the centre with a fake plastic gun during her robbery attempt. She also had a knife in her possession and intended to use it if her threats with the gun were unsuccessful, Abu Dhabi Police said in a statement on state news agency WAM.

Police said that an altercation between the woman and employees had already occurred by the time they reached the location. No injuries were reported at the scene.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the arrested woman, identified as A. L. R., 33 years, is a Filipino national and an illegal resident in the UAE,” said Colonel Dr. Rashid Mohammad Borshid, head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Abu Dhabi Police.

“She was wearing black gloves and wore a black full-face veil with a white scarf on the head. She held a black cloth in her hand, of which she use in an effort to conceal the fake gun that she had threatened the exchange centre employees with, to avoid leaving any prints, and to avoid being recognised or caught on CCTV.

“The woman threatened the employees at gun point and asked them to give her the money.”

A subsequent interrogation revealed that the woman planned the robbery in order to settle her debts, amounting to Dhs140,000.

Police also prevented the woman from using the knife in her possession as she resisted arrest, Borshid said.

The incident has reinforced concerns among the authorities over the misuse of the traditional abaya and the niqab, following the Reem Island murder in December last year.

Sporting a similar outfit, a fully veiled Emirati woman was accused of stabbing an American schoolteacher in a mall toilet then endangering residents in an apartment by planting a makeshift bomb on the doorstep.

These incidents have encouraged debate in the UAE Federal National Council including discussion of additional security measures to screen those who are fully veiled.

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