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Dubai police play down plaints of stolen luxury cars

A Correspondent
Filed on February 21, 2005

DUBAI — A Dubai Police official played down complaints by individuals whose luxury cars were said to have been seized by police following reports that they entered the country illegally three months ago.

The cars in question are suspected to have been stolen in European countries and shipped to the UAE to be sold.

Complaints were lodged with the Attorney General’s Office who ordered the cars be returned to their owners here, but police insist the orders were issued by the local Interpol office and that they remain with police till investigations are completed.

The official disclosed that these cases were not restricted to Dubai, but there are also similar cases in other emirates.

The official stressed that contrary to claims and rumours, the cases are not many. He admitted that these cases were under investigation.

But car owners are worried about the fate of their vehicles for which they paid huge amounts of money.

“They (car owners) have to resort to the courts to file civil cases against the car showrooms from which they bought the cars. People have to ensure that the cars imported from outside the UAE are not wanted by the Interpol. Those who have documents that prove the cars in question are not wanted by the Interpol can approach us with the documents and get their cars back,” said the official.

But the owners argue that the cars were registered legally and there were no claims against the vehicles.

One owner, speaking on a local radio station, said he had bought a car in June, insured it and registered it officially. But before the holy month of Ramadan, he was summoned by police for assisting in the investigations.

“Dubai Police follow up with the Interpol cases of stolen cars that are brought to the local markets,” added the official.

Some car owners paid over Dh300,000 for second-hand cars. They say the law should protect the buyer since the cars in question entered the country and were registered after satisfying all regulations.

The Public Prosecutor’s office issued an order on December 18, 2004 regarding the cars stolen in European countries. The cars were ordered returned to their owners here but they continue to be earmarked for seizure till further official requests are received from countries claiming the cars to be stolen. In some cases, the cars were returned to the owners who bought them here, but sometime later, police seized them again. There have also been question marks on the lengthy process at civil courts and how the court will deal with owners of car showrooms involved in selling the cars.

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