12 in court for stealing luxury cars from UAE rental firms
Abu Dhabi - The cars were worth about Dhs7 million.
Abu Dhabi A group of twelve men, accused of stealing nine luxury cars worth Dh7 million from car rental firms in the UAE and selling them abroad, has gone on trial.
Abu Dhabi criminal court of first instance was told that the men, including three Emiratis working for a government department and nine Arabs were caught late last year after police received complaints from rental car firms about people who hired expensive cars but never returned them after the expiry of the lease period.
Official court documents stated that the men had stolen expensive cars including a Lamborghini, Range Rover, Mercedes, Nissan Patrol and others. Six of the cars were stolen from rental car firms in Abu Dhabi while three of the cars were stolen from Dubai.
Prosecutors said that following a tip-off from rental car firms, police formed a team which immediately got into action and caught one person who had rented a car from one of the firms.
"Upon interrogation, the man revealed names of others involved in the car theft and they were all arrested," said a prosecutor.
Police investigations suggested that after hiring the cars from rental car firms, the men could take them to the Emirati men working in a government department who helped in forging customs documents.
"The men were changing two digits in the vehicle's serial number before they issued a customs certificate for the car," said a police officer.
"The gang then exported the luxury cars as new ones using false documents."
The men then shared the revenue earned from the sale of cars. Prosecutors charged the men with theft, forging official documents, and abuse of office for those that worked in public department.
All the men denied charges against them.
One of the Arab men who was charged with keeping the stolen cars in his home after they were brought to him by his employer told court that he had no idea the card had been stolen.
The trial was adjourned until March 7. firstname.lastname@example.org