x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Traffic officer stole 79 cars, Dubai court told

A traffic policeman stole 79 abandoned cars before forging ownership records and selling them, hears court.

DUBAI // A traffic policeman stole and sold 79 abandoned cars, a court heard yesterday.

Emirati HS, 25, roamed the streets looking for dusty and abandoned cars, prosecutors said.

He then used his position at the Traffic Records Section at Jebel Ali Police Station to change the ownership details on the police database.

He also forged ownership documents so he could have the cars repainted before he and three others sold them.

The vehicles were stolen between 2010 and 2011.

Prosecutors say the officer handed himself in a year later because he felt remorse and could not sleep.

"I felt guilty because I am supposed to be an officer of the law who serves and protects but instead I was stealing cars," he said.

"I couldn't even sleep and nightmares haunted me and woke me up at many nights."

Prosecutors say he got the idea for the scheme after two friends noticed abandoned cars at the police station when they visited him.

He told them the owners had left the country because they could not pay their bank debts. He gave the cars to the two friends, who sold them in Sharjah with the help of a third man. All four split the profits.

Prosecutors say the policeman confessed to repaying Dh160,000 in credit card debt and a Dh200,000 loan.

In court he denied charges of abusing his position, forging official documents, illegally obtaining master keys to the cars and stealing the cars.

HE, 22, who holds a Comoros Islands passport; SK, 25, an unemployed Saudi; and SM, 39, an unemployed Omani, all denied charges of aiding and abetting. SM was also charged with possessing stolen items.

All the accused denied all charges.

The next hearing was scheduled for July 7.

salamir@thenational.ae