On­line buyer ac­cused of bounc­ing cheques in car sales

Buyer claimed to be busi­ness­man

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Se­bug­waawo @is­mailsebu is­mail@days.ae

A man has been ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of buy­ing ex­pen­sive cars us­ing bad cheques then sell­ing them on to oth­ers at knock­down prices.

Abu Dhabi pros­e­cu­tors said the Syr­ian was de­tained af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tions sug­gested he was in­volved in 17 in­ci­dences of fraud, in­clud­ing dup­ing sev­eral car own­ers.

Au­thor­i­ties launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter sev­eral peo­ple com­plained to Abu Dhabi Po­lice that they had sold cars to the Syr­ian but the cheques bounced. Pros­e­cu­tors said the man, in his 30s, was aware he had no money in his ac­count when he wrote the cheques.

“Af­ter tak­ing the cars from the own­ers, the man rushed to re­sell them to other buy­ers - some­times on the same day - be­fore the owner went to the bank to cash the cheque,” said pros­e­cu­tors.

The sus­pect al­legedly told his vic­tims that he owned a large car rental firm in the UAE and was buy­ing the cars to top up to his fleet.

The vic­tims - from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Shar­jah - had ad­ver­tised their cars on­line. In one of the cases, the sus­pect bought a Mercedes Benz sports car for Dhs750,000 then al­legedly sold it to an­other per­son for Dhs600,000 on the same day. The seller said the sus­pect met him on a Thurs­day af­ter­noon and paid him by cheque, which he was sup­posed to cash on the Sun­day at which point the regis­tra­tion of the car would be trans­ferred into the sus­pect’s name. When he went to the bank, though, he was told there wasn’t enough money in the man’s ac­count. The vic­tim told the po­lice that when he tried to call the sus­pect the man’s phone had been switched off. Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions sug­gest the Syr­ian did most of his al­leged deals on Thurs­days. He has been re­ferred to court, charged with fraud.

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