Imposters target Asians for robbing and cheating

DUBAI, SHARJAH & AJMAN — There has been an increase in the number of impersonation and cheating cases during the last two years in the emirates of Sharjah and Ajman, according to police sources. However, in Dubai such a trend saw a decline in the recent past.

By Afkar Abdullah And Amira Agarib (Our staff reporters)

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Published: Tue 4 Dec 2007, 9:11 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:07 AM

According to statistics available with Sharjah Police for 2006, 25 robberies and thefts and seven cases of assault were reported everyday in various police stations in Sharjah.

A source from Criminal Research Section in Sharjah Police said 80 per cent of the robberies during the last 22 months involved gangs or individuals who posed as police officers to intimidate and rob people.

Brig. Salim Al Mugrabi, head of Moral Guidance Section in Sharjah Police, said 90 per cent of the victims were Asians. In several cases, cheats posing as CID officers waylaid the victims after pointing toy guns at them.

"Police had received several complaints about a group of young men impersonating as police officers and robbing victims," he said.

In Ajman, during the last 10 months, more than 15 such cases were reported in various police stations.

Major Abdullah Saif, head of the Criminal Investigation Department in Ajman Police, said his officers succeeded in busting gangs and arresting individuals who had allegedly assaulted and robbed people by impersonating as police officers. Most of the victims were Asians, he pointed out.

High-ranking officers in Ajman and Sharjah police departments said as per the law CID officers are first supposed to furnish their identification before stopping or questioning anybody.

The officers must first explain the reason for questioning or arrest and then take the 'suspect' to the police station without depriving the person of his belongings, he added.

Commenting on the targeting of Asians by cheats and imposters, Ajman Police Director-General Ali Alwan said that Asian expatriates should not cooperate with 'policemen' who do not present their IDs, and immediately inform the police operations room by dialling 999.

"They should not take it for granted that anybody in a 'qandoora' and claiming to be from the CID is really from the police," he advised and said that people should insist on furnishing of IDs.

"People who have not committed any crime should not be scared of the police or CID officers," he pointed out.

During the last 10 months, the Dubai Police received 32 complaints about suspects who cheated people by pretending to be police officers.

Brigadier Abdul Jalil Mehdi, Deputy Director of the Preventive Security Department in Dubai Police said due to the efficient policing measures the number of cases of impersonation and robbing in Dubai had declined this year as compared to last year.

He said that imposters in police uniform or in 'qandoora' target mostly people of Asian countries with the intention of robbing, blackmailing or raping their victims who, in most cases, are ignorant of Arabic language and the laws of the land.

Brig. Mehdi said that it is not difficult for the people to know the identity of genuine police officers because their ID features their photograph in police uniform.

He explained that Dubai Police officers are very well trained in public relations skills and they deal with people in a civilised manner.

"The expatriates should not be afraid when stopped by someone who claims to be a police officer," Brig. Mehdi said, adding "they should ask him to present his ID and ensure that the man is wearing Dubai Police uniform."

"In case of suspicion, people should immediately inform the police on 999," he advised.

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