Dubai: Indian expat K.M. Basheer, who works as a pickup van driver with a logistics company, had bought his dream SUV with the savings he earned over the past 20 years.
Today, however, his dreams are shattered as he was duped by bogus car buyers, who fled with his vehicle after giving him dud cheques.
Basheer has warned potential vehicle sellers against this new modus operandi of vehicle thieves.
Narrating his experience to Gulf News, Basheer said he bought a used Land Cruiser Prado in mid2014 for Dh130,000.
“I did not take any loan. It was my hard-earned money. I bought it for my family as my kids loved this vehicle,” said Basheer, who draws a salary of Dh4,000.
However, Basheer found it expensive to maintain it and decided to dispose it and use that money for constructing his house back in Kerala.
“I placed an ad for selling the vehicle on Dubizzle after I decided to send my family back home. I thought of using that money for building our home.”
He said one potential buyer, an Emirati, requested to meet him to see the vehicle and negotiate the rate. “I had asked for Dh110,000 and he settled for Dh108,000. Another man, Khalid, who introduced himself as the first guy’s brother, had also joined us by then.”
He said the duo took him to Tasjeel office in Al Ghusais and handed him Dh15,000 in cash. “Then they said I can register the car in Khalid’s name and the other guy will bring the balance amount by the time we finish the registration process.”
The latter’s so-called brother, however, did not return saying he had to rush to the hospital as his wife had fallen ill.
“Then Khalid gave me a cheque for the balance amount and took the vehicle.”
Though Basheer went to the nearby police station raising his apprehension about a potential cheating by the buyer, he said, he was told to try to cash the cheque first.
However, the cheque bounced the next day, proving Basheer’s fears true. “Khalid still gave me hope saying he will put another cheque against my account and he did that too. But, my bank called me saying that was also a dud cheque.”
Khalid’s phone was switched off after that and Basheer later found out that his SUV had already been exported to a neighbouring country.
He has registered a case with Al Ghusais Police station, the head of which has also cautioned residents against the new tactic of car thieves.
Dubai Police has reportedly received seven such cases in recent months including that of an Arab man, who conned a woman into handing her Mercedes car.