Gang stole exhaust filters worth Dh3.6m from vehicles rented from car rental company in Dubai

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Exhaust pipes of a diesel car. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: A gang of five people has been accused of renting hundreds of cars in Dubai before dismantling and stealing the exhaust filters, causing damages worth Dh3.6 million to the car rental company.

The defendants — four Pakistani and a Bangladeshi — used to rent cars before taking them to garages, dismantle the diesel particulate exhaust filters, weld the casing of the exhausts back in place and return the vehicles to the Dubai-based rent-a-car company.

According to the Dubai Court of First Instance on Tuesday, the gang had rented 431 cars for this purpose between October last year and April this year.

A 42-year-old Sudanese man from the car rental company testified that one of the defendants had rented multiple new cars from the company. Later on, technicians discovered the crime.

Chromium-plated exhausts

“Some cars were new, but they still had noise. We doubted the matter and discovered that they had stolen the chromium-plated exhausts used in cars. Those were expensive material and the cost of reinstalling the same came to Dh3.6 million,” said the Sudanese witness on record.

Dubai Police identified the defendants who admitted to the crime.

A 34-year-old Emirati police officer said the defendants were renting the cars before taking them to a garage in Sharjah to dismantle the exhausts. “The mastermind behind the crime has confessed that he used to collect the cars from one of the defendants with the intention of stealing the filters. He would then return the cars to the rental company,” said the Emirati police officer on record.

The defendants used to take the cars out for five hours before returning them to the rental company. According to Dubai Public Prosecution, the main defendant claimed that he had committed the crime because he was unemployed. Prosecution has charged the defendants with embezzlement and causing damages worth Dh3.6 million.

The next hearing is expected to be held on July 6.