Dubai: Gang stealing catalytic converters from vehicles jailed, to be deported

Police warn public to be vigilant as these thefts, which are highly lucrative for criminals, are being performed by organised crime syndicates

by

Afkar Ali Ahmed

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File photo
File photo

Published: Mon 13 Mar 2023, 4:39 PM

A gang of four have been jailed for stealing catalytic converters from vehicles.

According to police investigation records, a driver submitted a report stating that the catalytic converter of a bus belonging to the company in which he works had been stolen.


He said that when he came to the bus one morning and switched it on, he heard a strange noise from the exhaust. On getting it checked by a technician, he found out that the catalytic converter, which was worth Dh5,000, had been stolen.

A policeman said that they were able to track down the thieves by examining evidence found at the crime scene. The four suspects were arrested and interrogated. They then confessed that they had carried out many such thefts of catalytic converters. They would divide roles among themselves and perform the crime together. One of the thieves admitted that he sold a filter to someone in a neighbouring emirate for Dh600.


The gang of four has been sentenced by the Dubai Criminal Court to three months in prison followed by deportation. They were also jointly fined Dh5,000.

Trending phenomenon

According to top officials at Dubai and Sharjah police departments, the theft of catalytic converters has become common during the last few years. However, the police have managed to combat the rise of the crime by arresting many such gangs.

The police said that catalytic converters have caught the eye of crime syndicates since at times they could be more valuable than gold. This is because these vehicle parts contain precious metals such as palladium, platinum, and rhodium, which can be sold at high prices.

“In one case last year, the Dubai Police arrested a gang of five Asians for reportedly stealing the catalytic converters of 431 vehicles owned by two car rental companies. The stolen auto devices were estimated to be worth Dh3,640,000,” a top official at Dubai Police said.

The police have urged vehicle owners and car rental companies to remain vigilant, as the theft has become an organised crime run by professional gangs.

What you can do

1. Park your vehicle in a garage or a well-lit, busy location

2. If your home or office is equipped with a CCTV camera, park vehicles in the field of the system’s view. This may help alert you to a potential intruder and capture footage that can be used by the police

3. Do not agree to change parts of your car without checking their validity

4. Car rental companies must ensure the identity of their customers and meticulously inspect vehicles upon their return

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