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Luck runs out for screw belt group in Abu Dhabi.

Materials used in the scam including belts, iron boards and screwdrivers

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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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 8, 2016
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