ABU DHABI: If you get shadowed in a parking lot by men offering to sell authentic Italian suits at throwaway prices, you have probably run into an old parking lot con that has reappeared in Abu Dhabi.
A week ago, British expat Keith Birch had a close brush with the ‘suits con’ at the parking lot of Marina Mall.
“A man speaking in an Italian accent came to my window with a map and asked for directions to Yas Island. He had a gleaming chauffeur-driven white BMW X5. The next thing I knew he was trying to pursue me into buying sample suits stacked in his car’s boot,” Birch told XPRESS.
“I was sure it was a rip-off as the driver in the car had tried to sell me the suits just two days ago near an Adnoc service station,” said Birch.
Indian expat Kiran Kumar was also approached by the conmen in the same parking lot last week.
“The men claimed they were going back to Italy after a garment exhibition. They said the suits were leftovers from the exhibition and they could not take them back. Hence they were selling them off for as low as Dh500 whereas the original price was above Dh10,000,” said Kumar.
Another resident who did not want to be named said he was approached by two ‘Italian-looking’ men in the Khalifa Hospital’s parking lot two weeks ago. “They were in a white BMW and said they were in Dubai for a wholesale garment deal. Both spoke in what I figured was broken Italian though they looked like Arabs,” said the resident.
“They were trying to sell me ‘original Armani and Gucci’ for Dh400. But you could easily tell the material was fake.”
Filipino Christine Rollon Blanco recounted a similar story. “A man came to my office twice last week trying to sell what he claimed were original Italian suits at low prices. No one bought though. He left saying he would come again,” said Blanco.
XPRESS has reported also the ‘suit con’ in Dubai in the past. However, residents say the fraudsters have been on the prowl at various locations over the years.
“The same thing happened to me two years ago near Al Bateen. They told me the same story about a garment exhibition and the leftover suits they wanted to peddle for a cheap price,” said Mustapha Abdollahi, an Arab expatriate.