Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 August 2019

Fraudsters who conned investor out of Dh7 million lose jail appeal

Pair must serve combined total of seven years in prison for car deal scam

A pair of fraudsters who posed as owners of a car dealership firm to trick an investor out of Dh7 million have lost an appeal against their jail terms.

A Syrian businessman, 37, and his partner in crime, a Jordanian mechanic, 43, arranged to sell a fleet of cars to the unwitting investor - despite having no stake in the company.

The men were convicted of forging documents, using forged documents and defrauding the Saudi investor out of the haul of cash back.

Dubai Criminal Court handed the younger defendant a two-year sentence while his accomplice was sentenced to five years in prison.

The Syrian businessman had found a copy of a letter from an Emirati associate, issuing a Special Power to Attorney requesting another man run his car company in his absence while he was abroad.

The two offenders made a counterfeit copy of the document with the businessman’s name, court records show.

They deceived the investor into paying for 50 cars of different types. They showed him pertaining customs papers and took him to examine the cars at an Aweer showroom and a packed Dubai Customs yard.

The businessman forged a Dh3 million cheque, a sale contract and payment receipts and handed them to the investor in the presence of the mechanic.

“I own a trade firm in Riyadh and heard from a close friend that there were cars for sale in Dubai, belonging to Yemeni traders who were selling them at competitive prices so they could finish them up within three days. I sent my friend (a Saudi trader) to Dubai to examine the cars,” said the victim in records.

The mechanic picked up the friend from the airport and took him to a Range Rover showroom and claimed that he owned it.

After checking the cars, the friend called the investor in and asked him to come to Dubai carrying more than Dh11 million for 77 cars.

The investor arrived with around Dh1 million and was met by the mechanic, who took him to the businessman’s office in Al Muraqqabat.

The businessman claimed he was planning to sell 405 cars at around Dh55 million.

The investor paid Dh1 million as first installment and wired the remaining Dh6 million in several money transfers after his return to Saudi Arabia. The businessman gave the victim a Dh3 million cheque as a guarantee, which turned out to be altered.

The two promised the investor to provide him with customs documents within a week but never did and started stalling and failing to answer the victim’s calls.

He called police and reported the incident.

The pair denied all charges in both courts but were convicted. They will be deported after serving their terms.

Updated: July 5, 2018 07:57 PM