Belt up, you are off to jail

Luck runs out for gam­bling group

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - By Is­mail Se­bugawaawo @is­ is­

A group of 23 men have been jailed for six months for con­ning their co-work­ers out of their wages.

The group were caught near a shop­ping mall in Abu Dhabi early this year af­ter po­lice found them play­ing a game com­monly known as “screw belt”.

Ma­te­ri­als used in the scam in­clud­ing belts, iron boards and screw­drivers were also seized from the group.

Pros­e­cu­tors said the of­fi­cers had raided the area af­ter get­ting a tip-off from res­i­dents about gam­bling af­ter Fri­day prayers.

In this type of gam­bling, the men use a thin belt which is placed on an iron­ing board and a screw­driver is put in a belt hole.

The game or­gan­iser then ro­tates the belt on the sur­face of the iron­ing board sev­eral times and if the screw­driver re­mains stuck in the belt, the player wins and takes the money. If not, the or­gan­iser takes the money. “The men drew in many work­ers to play for money, charg­ing them be­tween Dhs10 and Dhs100 to par­tic­i­pate in the game of chance,” said a pros­e­cu­tor. “The men con­vinced oth­ers that they would get thou­sands of dirhams from the game.” Pros­e­cu­tors said the gam­blers would have peo­ple who are in on the game pre­tend­ing to be nor­mal pun­ters who win the bet. This en­tices other play­ers to part with their money af­ter watch­ing them win. The men, all Asian, de­nied the charges of il­le­gal gam­bling. But Abu Dhabi Crim­i­nal Court found them guilty of gam­bling based on ev­i­dence pre­sented by pros­e­cu­tors. The judge gave each of them six months in jail and a fine of Dhs5,000. The group will be de­ported af­ter serv­ing their jail sen­tences.

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