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For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: A stolen number plate prompted Dubai Police to pursue a bootlegger who resisted arrest when officers tried to stop him, the Dubai Court of First Instance heard on Thursday.

On March 6 of this year police were alerted to the theft of number plates from two cars parked in a sandy area belonging to a car rental company in Al Ghusais.

Police found the plate was being used on a stolen car in Naif, which belonged to a bootlegger.

“The vehicle was being used by a bootlegger in Naif,” a police officer testified. “The car would be parked in the area until midnight and then leave. The defendant was driving the car with two passengers. We followed the car to Al Nahda where we stopped the car near a building and one of them stepped out, looked at us and then escaped.”

A second man threw alcohol bottles away and fled while the police tried to stop the bootlegger by blocking his way.

The man tried to drive away but couldn’t as the pavement was too high. “He tried to close the door and move the car but I kept the door open,” said the officer.

“He resisted arrest and pushed me away despite me yelling in English that we were police. I controlled him and pulled him out of the car and cuffed him with the assistance of my colleagues,” added the officer who suffered minor injuries in the scuffle.

A 25-year-old Nigerian defendant confessed that the vehicle was stolen by one of the other suspects in the car and that he was working for him by selling alcohol for Dh50 a day. The Nigerian man and two others, who are still at large, were charged with resisting arrest, stealing number plates and possessing alcohol without a licence, including 32 bottles of whisky and 30 cans of beer.

The only one of three arrested denied the charges and his trial has adjourned until April 29.

In the meantime the suspect remains in custody.