London police have arrested two men over an attack on an Emirati couple and their friend at their flat last week.
The men, who are both in their 20s, were arrested in Kilburn on suspicion of armed robbery and are in custody, police said in a statement late Wednesday.
The attack on the 51-year-old man, reported to be Ali Al Tamimi, of Ajman, his wife, 47, and a 59-year-old Emirati friend at their London flat about 1am on April 22 sparked heated debate on social media networks with Twitter hashtags trending such as “Dubai Summers rather than London hammers” and #london_is_not_safe.
Police said a group of masked men forced their way into the couple’s home in Westbourne Gardens, Paddington, and threatened them before stealing a quantity of property including two mobile phones, around AED4,000 ($1,089) and £2,400 ($4,033) in cash, two passports, handbags and bank cards.
Two of the four men, who are all described as black and wearing masks, were armed with handguns and one had a knife. Another three men stood outside while the robbery took place, police had said.
It comes after the alleged assault of three Emirati sisters at their London hotel on April 6 where the victims were attacked with a hammer after they interrupted a burglar who had gained access to their unlocked room. Four people have been charged over that attack.
London Police last week moved to assure the public there is no link between the two attacks: “We acknowledge the tragic coincidence of two serious violent attacks against residents of UAE in London and the concern that it is bound to cause, but there is no reason to suggest these incidents are linked,” Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said.
“We believe the victims in this latest case were not targeted because of their nationality.”
In the latest statement, police said they were being assisted by counterparts in the UAE and a senior police officer from the UAE was currently in London working alongside Metropolitan Police officers.
Al Tamimi reportedly told daily newspaper Gulf News that he is set to return to the UAE on Monday following the completion of the first phase of the police probe.