x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Fraudster sold non-existent cars to people in Kazakhstan, hears Dubai court

Man in Dubai is accused of selling non-existent cars to people in Kazakhstan.

DUBAI // A man in Dubai made almost Dh500,000 by selling non-existent cars to people in Kazakhstan, a court heard on Tuesday.

N O, 34, from Nigeria, was arrested by police after an irate customer flew to Dubai and reported him.

The Criminal Court heard V F, 30, a woman from Kazakhstan, contacted a Dubai website that specialised in selling cars to the Kazakh market.

“There were images of the available cars and names of managers, as well as their contact details,” testified the woman.

Her husband called one of the managers and discussed buying a Mercedes.

“They agreed to sell him the car for US$82,000 [Dhs301,186], which included shipping and customs charges,” said the woman.

The company provided bank account details and the couple transferred the money.

“After they received the money, they sent us the shipping letter along with the ownership records of the car, which made me and my husband believe everything was legal,” she said.

The couple then bought a second car for $50,800.

When the delivery date for the cars passed the woman contacted the general manager.

“He said that the cars had already shipped from the UAE but had been seized at the Iranian ports and that we had to pay $10,300 extra to get them out,” she said.

She flew to Dubai and filed a report with the police, who found the website was bogus and tracked down the bank account into which the couple had paid.

They arrested the Nigerian man as he was withdrawing the money.

At the Criminal Court, he was charged with fraud, forgery and possessing Dh474,526 of fraudulently obtained money.

He denied the charge, saying a friend gave him the money as payment for a share in a business and he was unaware the money had been obtained illegally.

The next hearing was scheduled for November 3.

salamir@thenational.ae