HIGH END CARS (MERCEDES, BMW & LAND CRUISERS) STOLEN IN DUBAI AND SHARJAH UAE SENT BY RO-RO SHIPS TO IRAQ FOR RESALE AND SUPPORT OF TERRORISM; DUBAI/SHARJAH — The current spate of car thefts has raised serious concerns among car owners, car rental companies and car shipping companies in Sharjah and Dubai.
Owners of luxury and fancy vehicles as well as workshops and vehicle shipment companies in Dubai and Sharjah are concerned about the spate of thefts in the two emirates and other parts of the country. Dubai which has been a transit point for the re-exporting of stolen cars from all over the world for years, now has it's own internal problem with high end vehicles "vanishing" at an escalating rate (some end up in Iraq).
According to police departments in Sharjah and Dubai, the thieves use duplicate keys and target only luxury cars, especially BMW, Lexus, Prado, Mercedes, Land Cruiser and other four-wheel drive vehicles. "They steal cars from car rental and shipping companies as well as from residential parking lots. They dismantle the cars to send them to other Arab countries, including Iraq". See Prior post; Saturday, July 26, 2008 THE STOLEN CARS OF AL-QAEDA, FINANCING TERRORISM
Some residents from Sharjah and Dubai said they were very worried about their cars and felt they could be stolen any time. They said that since the thieves only targeted fancy and luxury brands, particularly 4WDs such as Prado, they felt insecure parking their vehicles anywhere. They said that they make sure that their vehicles are securely locked. However, the thieves use duplicate keys to escape with the cars.
Residents have urged the police to increase patrols even on the busy streets and in residential areas, especially during the night. Some of the victims said their vehicles had not yet been recovered, while many others said their cars had been recovered after a month or two from the day of the theft.
The owner of Stash and Alexander Cargo and Shipping Company on Al Wahda Street, said a Prado 2005 model which was meant for shipping to Russia had been stolen and is yet to be recovered.
Car rental firms; Three of the car rental companies contacted by Khaleej Times said they had fallen victims to car thieves. Mohammed Khaleel, owner of a car rental company in Al Yarmouk, said more than three cars, including Prado, Mercedes and Land Cruiser, had been stolen over the past months and were still untraceable.
Humaid Al Hadidi, Director-General of Sharjah Police, said that in just three months, eight gangs of car thieves had been busted. Some other suspects, too, have been caught trying to export stolen vehicles. CID officers are working round-the-clock to arrest the remaining members of these gangs and to recover the vehicles, he said, adding that patrolling had been intensified to ensure safety and security of vehicles in public parking areas.
He also said that a nationwide alert had been sounded. "When a stolen vehicle is found, the police take proper measures to check the owner and then turn over the case to the prosecution," he added. Brigadier Ahmed Ghanem, Director of Naif Police Station, said Dubai Police had busted many gangs and arrested several suspects involved in the recent spate of car thefts.
Don't leave engine on; In Dubai, where temps reach 120 degrees, the police also launched an inspection campaign with the theme "Do not leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running." The campaign resulted in recording of 1,960 violations. Those who leave their cars unattended while the engine is on, will be slapped with a fine of Dh300, he warned.
Police in Dubai and Sharjah said that during investigations it was found that in some cases car owners had left their cars unlocked in supermarket parking lots and at petrol stations, which gave the thieves an opportunity to get away with the car easily. In some other cases, it was discovered that the suspects used forged papers and passports to rent a car and never returned. These crimes took place with the alleged collaboration of international crime organisations. Sharjah and Dubai Police are collaborating with the Interpol to nab the culprits.
Key-makers; It was also discovered that some key makers, too, facilitated car thefts by making a large number of keys in return for huge financial returns. The key makers in both the emirates are being watched by the police to ensure that they are not indulging in misuse of their profession. Omer Magzoub, an insurance expert at a Dubai-based company, said that insurance does not cover cars that were stolen while the engine was operating. Not many of the insurance companies were affected because most of the insurance claimants were found not eligible as the theft of their cars took place while the engine was operating, he pointed out.