x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Three held over smuggling of stolen cars

Police have arrested three men in connection with a car-smuggling ring suspected of moving stolen vehicles between the UAE and the US.

SHARJAH // Police have arrested three men in connection with a car-smuggling ring suspected of moving stolen vehicles between the UAE and the US. A senior officer from Sharjah Criminal Investigation Department said police had received a tip-off that luxury cars - a Mercedes SL550 and an S550, both 2007 models - advertised for sale in the emirate had been stolen in the US and imported into the UAE. "After ascertaining the validity of this information, we formed a team to follow up the issue through surveillance of two of the suspects," he said.

They also monitored the cars as they were prepared for sale. Police discovered the chassis numbers of the cars had been changed, seized the vehicles and found papers connecting them to a spare-parts company. Officers also seized a BMW 330 connected to the ring that had been stored in a car showroom in Sharjah. Police arrested two Pakistani men, TAN and UHB, who are accused of attempting to sell the Mercedes. Police said another Pakistani man, RAM, had admitted using aluminium to change the chassis numbers and had been charged with the offence.

All three accepted that they had formed a partnership with an American thief who shipped the cars to the UAE, although they claimed the scheme was in its infancy and they had not sold any vehicles. The three arrested men have been referred to the public prosecution office. The Ministry of Interior is working with Interpol to pursue the men's accomplices in the US. @Email:ykakande@thenational.ae