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Dubai Police sergeant on trial for stealing 67 cars

Defendant, three associates, deny forging wanted-car warrants to replicate keys to sell stolen cars

Gulf News

Dubai: A sergeant has been accused of hacking into Dubai Police’s traffic system to issue warrants that nearly 67 cars were wanted before stealing those cars and selling them.

The 25-year-old Emirati sergeant, H.S., was said to have abused the authority granted to him to access the electronic traffic system of the Dubai Police traffic department then issued warrants that tens of cars were wanted as per Dubai court rulings.

Then he handed those wanted-car warrants to a technician, who replicates keys, and made him issue replacement keys so he could steal the cars, sell them and pocket the money, according to prosecution records.

According to the charges sheet, prosecutors said H.S. abused his powers and unlawfully logged into the e-system through his colleague’s computer then issued warrants against cars.

He was accused of forging police documents, which he provided to the technician, to steal the cars using the replacement keys.

Three suspects, a 25-year-old Saudi, S.K., a 39-year-old Omani, S.G., and 22-year-old, H.I., from Comoros Islands, were charged with aiding and abetting H.S.

The four suspects stood trial before the Dubai Court of First Instance in eight separate cases.

The four men were present and entered a not guilty plea.

Addressing him as the main suspect in the eight cases, presiding judge Maher Salama Al Mahdi asked H.S. in courtroom seven: “Did you issue those warrants and get replacement keys to steal the 67 cars?”

“Not at all! I am not guilty. I did not steal anything. I am not guilty… I didn’t do that,” uttered the defendant when he repeatedly denied his long list of accusations.

Despite his innocent plea in court on Sunday, prosecution records cited H.S. admitting that he abused the authority granted to him and issued the warrants to get replacement keys to steal nearly 70 vehicles.

Prosecution records said H.S. admitted that his coworkers, S.K. and H.I., suggested the idea to him — to steal old cars that were abandoned in streets.

“I was covered with debts and loans because I had earlier entered a business partnership with a Russian man, who took the money and absconded from the UAE. I did not have a car and my coworkers were dropping me to work at the police station. It was then when we first discussed the idea. S.K. and H.I. spotted a number of impounded cars and they asked me how those cars were impounded by the police. I explained to them that whenever a police patrol spotted an abandoned car, they would check its traffic records in the system. Police would then discover that those abandoned cars were wanted by Dubai courts over unpaid or incomplete bank loans. They suggested to me to look for abandoned cars in streets, then steal those cars and they would help me sell the stolen vehicles and share the revenue. I stole nearly 70 cars and handed them to S.K. and H.I. to sell them… I used the money to cover more than Dh360,000 in debts,” H.S. was quoted saying in prosecution records.

H.S. claimed that later on he felt guilty because his job was to enforce the law and alleged that he had sleepless nights.

The suspect and his alleged partners in crime were taken into custody later.

The Syrian technician, who replicated the keys, claimed that he was not aware that the suspects forged the wanted-car warrants to steal those vehicles. He claimed that the cars were of different brands such as Lexus, Nissan Sunny, Chevrolet Tahoe, Toyota Pickup, Nissan Infinity, Chevrolet Optra, Mitsubishi Lancer, Ford Ranger and others.

The trial continues.