A German tourist has uncovered a rent-a-car scam thanks to the Dubai Police website. Maj Gen Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Chief of Police, yesterday said it was "e-government that helped Dr Rudolph Kohler bust the swindling scam."

Kohler arrived in Dubai and rented a car. He had to leave an imprint of his credit card with the agency as a guarantee. After he left the country, Kohler was told by the rent-a-car firm that he had to pay Dh400 in fines for violating Municipality parking laws. He was also told that the amount would be realised by using his credit card number.

Kohler fell for the ruse at first and agreed, but soon smelt something fishy. He logged onto the website and his photographic memory served him well. He remembered the car's number and soon found to his amazement that the car was involved in two parking violations on dates prior to those he rented it.

He complained to Dubai Police on its website and won the battle. The money was returned to him, the company apologised and an employee faces prosecution. Police found that the employee had rented the doctor his own car and not the firm's. The employee was also found responsible for deducting the amount from Kohler.