Dh31m car plate number bidder arrested for fraud in Abu Dhabi

Businessman sent to seven days custody pending investigation on bounced cheque

Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
Plate number 1 on display at the Vanity Number Plate Auction held in Abu Dhabi on November 19.

Abu Dhabi: The Public Prosecution in Abu Dhabi has sent an Emirati businessman to seven days custody after his Dh31 million cheque bounced. The man paid by cheque after successfully bidding for car plate number 1 in an auction held in Abu Dhabi on November 19.

The businessman A.A.M. was charged with fraud after he wrote the check without sufficient balance in his account for the Vanity Number Plate Auction, a statement from the prosecution said.

He admitted to the prosecutors that he had insufficient funds when he issued the Dh31 million cheque for the plate number, claiming that he was planning to sell the number for a higher sum and to pay Dh31 million from the proceeds.

The public prosecution accused him duping the vehicle number plate auction organiser Emirates Auction, by registering for the auction, and issuing a cheque knowing that he did not have sufficient funds.

The prosecution statement said that Emirates Auction’s regulations states that asset ownership cannot be transferred to others, without fulfilling the complete payment of the amount, and any action taken prior to making the full payment is considered illegal and invalid and is criminalised by the law.

“I’m so excited that I won plate number 1, it feels amazing and I was willing to pay any amount to get the plate number. I often come to auctions like that and fetch the most unique numbers at the highest bids,” the businessman had told Gulf News during the auction on November 19.

The Vanity Number Plate Auction featured 50 exclusive and unique vanity number plates and fetched a total of over Dh99 million.

Asma Samir is a journalist based in Abu Dhabi

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