Nine men, who stole dozens of luxury cars worth more than Dh7 million from car rental firms in the UAE and sold them abroad using forged documents, have been jailed for between one to 10 years.
The Abu Dhabi criminal court of first instance sentenced three of the men, all Emiratis, to 10 years in jail.
Five other men, who are Arabs, were each sentenced to three years in jail. The ninth man, also an Arab, was jailed for a year. The court also ordered the confiscation of the cars seized from the men’s showrooms and the forged documents used in the resale of the stolen cars.
Official court documents stated that the three Emiratis and six Arabs were caught in 2016 after the police received complaints from rental car firms. The firms complained that the accused rented the cars but failed to return them.
Prosecutors said the men stole expensive cars including a Lamborghini, Range Rover, Mercedes, Nissan Patrols and others. Some of the cars were stolen from rental car firms in Abu Dhabi while others were stolen from Dubai.
Police investigations revealed that after renting the cars, the men took them to their friends, who helped in forging customs documents. The court was told that the men changed two digits in the vehicle’s serial number before they issued a customs certificate for the car.
The gang then exported the luxury cars as new ones using fake documents. The police said the men shared the revenue earned from the sale of cars.
Prosecutors had charged the men with theft and forging official documents. They had denied the charges against them throughout their trial.
The owners of the stolen cars have been advised by the court to file civil lawsuits against the defendants for compensation for the financial damages they suffered.
The Arab nationals will be deported after serving their jail sentences.