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Wafi jewellery heist gangster found dead in Dubai prison cell

DUBAI // A member of the gang that stole Dh14.74 million worth of jewellery in the heist at Wafi mall in 2007 has been found dead in his cell at Dubai Central jail.

Ilincic Borko, a 34-year-old Serbian, was appealing against a 10-year jail sentence and was on Wednesday morning due to attend Dubai Court of Appeal. An official letter from the jail was handed to the presiding judge advising him that Borko was dead.

A source told The National he was found hanging in his cell about six weeks ago. Borko was hanging from a rope made out of his clothes.

He had denied charges of aiding and abetting as well as forgery and use of a forged passport.

Prosecutors said Borko aided a number of unidentified thieves in the armed robbery at Graf jewellery shop on Wafi’s ground floor in April 2007. The thieves rammed the shop using two stolen cars.

The masked men, some of whom remain at large and some of whom have been tried and sentenced to 10 years in jail, stole the cars then crashed them into to jewellery shop’s glass front at about 10pm.

They used toy guns to terrorise the people in the shop as they smashed display cases with iron bars, snatching jewellery worth Dh14,748,109.

The Serbian was also convicted of forging a passport and a visa, which he used to enter the UAE illegally and stay with another Bosnian suspect in a flat in Al Riffa.

In court he admitted using a fake passport to enter the UAE but denied any involvement in the heist.

Fingerprints from Borko lifted from the crime scene also matched prints taken from other places that had been robbed in a similar manner in Monaco, Switzerland and Serbia.

Borko was arrested in Spain and, in October 2015, a police lieutenant was assigned to fly to Madrid to bring the Serbian to Dubai.

In the same case, another Serb was jailed for 10 years to be followed by deportation and a Serb visitor was cleared of aiding and abetting. The case against another man was dismissed for lack of evidence.

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The National