UAE: Gang of 8 who duped car sellers jailed, fined Dh10m each

Reuters file photo used for illustrative purposes
Reuters file photo used for illustrative purposes

Abu Dhabi - They were also convicted of money laundering.



by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Thu 28 Oct 2021, 3:54 AM

A gang of eight people — who duped several car sellers and stole vehicles — has been fined Dh10 million each and sentenced to jail terms ranging from seven to 10 years.

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The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance on Wednesday handed down the verdict for the four Emiratis, three Syrians and an Ethiopian woman. They were found guilty of fraud and money laundering.

Based on victims’ statements, the defendants approached them saying they would buy their cars and gave them cheques, which later bounced.

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The members of the gang would often shift roles and change their names as they defrauded victims, so they can hide their identities, court records show.

Prosecutors said some of the defendants communicated with the victims; others transferred the ownership of cars in their name; while another member would issue the dud cheques.

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After transferring the cars in their names, they would sell the vehicles again and deposit part of the cash in the bank accounts of some of their members, with an intent to conceal the source of the fund.

Public prosecutors examined the bank accounts of the accused and found discrepanciews in the records. The bank balance of one of the defendants was not consistent with his monthly salary, while another accused issued cheques from his cheque book and then froze his bank account.

Also, on several occasions, the fraudsters transferred the ownership of the cars between themselves prior to selling them to others, as part of the modus operandi.

After hearing the case, the judge issued a ruling sentencing the defendants between seven and 10 years in jail and a fine of Dh10 million each.

Four will be deported after serving their jail sentences, while two defendants were acquitted.

The court ordered the confiscation of the funds involved in the money laundering offence.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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