Dubai driver finds his stolen Dh360,000 car on sale in Oman

Stephen Kitching believes he fell victim to what police say is an increasingly common scam

A Dubai resident who was duped out of his Dh360,000 ($98,000) Shelby Mustang saw it advertised weeks later for sale in Oman.

Stephen Kitching, 54, from the UK, agreed to sell his GT500 car to a buyer who contacted him through a classified ads website.

Mr Kitching discovered he had been conned when the cheque used to pay for the car, written in Arabic, was dated for 2025.

“I was initially contacted by a woman saying she wanted to make an offer for the car on behalf of her husband,” he said.

Some of the ring leaders operate outside the country so we’re working with authorities to bring them in
Capt Ahmad Al Sammahi, Dubai Police

“I told them I would sell the car but would only accept cash or a banker’s draft. She said that was fine."

Mr Kitching said the prospective buyer contacted him an hour before they had agreed to meet to say he could not acquire a bank draft as he was working on a military station and was unable to get away in time to obtain one.

When they met at the Roads and Transport Authority centre, the buyer told Mr Kitching that he wanted the car and started to take the number plates off the car.

“He was very controlled and authoritative, really looking the part, and we went into the RTA office where he gave over the paperwork for the transfer of the car’s ownership,” said Mr Kitching, who works in the tax sector.

"Then we went outside, and he took out his chequebook and wrote me a cheque in Arabic.”

Mr Kitching took a picture of the cheque with his phone and sent the image to an Arabic-speaking friend, who said everything was in order.

“Unfortunately, he did not spot the cheque was dated for 2025,” Mr Kitching said.

“The car was loaded on to a transporter, with the number plates removed, and I never saw it again.”

He later discovered the car had appeared in Oman, where it was advertised for sale on the Instagram pages of several garages, giving credence to Mr Kitching’s belief he was the victim of a gang of car thieves.

Mr Kitching also said the insurance company he used is refusing to pay out for the theft of his car.

He said he spoke with Dubai Police about the theft of his car and its reappearance in Oman. Dubai Police did not comment on his case but they have warned owners of such scams.

Women contacting people selling cars online, pretending to represent their husband has been a tactic for gangs of car thieves in the region.

Last year, Capt Ahmad Al Sammahi of Dubai Police told The National how a woman would make the initial arrangements, only for a man to arrive in person claiming it was too difficult to carry cash and would try to persuade the seller to accept a cheque.

“Some of the ring leaders operate outside the country so we’re working with authorities to bring them in," he said at the time.

Updated: November 2nd 2021, 7:46 AM