DUBAI // Investigators searching for missing shipping containers on behalf of Expat Relocations customers claim many more could come forward with complaints of missing shipments.
There are already complaints by more than 150 former UAE residents who paid tens of thousands of dirhams for removal, shipping and insurance services.
Some customers who used the relocation company when leaving the UAE have been left to pay customs charges of Dh35,000, according to investigators at UK company Condictor Solutions.
“I think the figure of 150 customers being affected by this is a conservative number,” said a spokesman, who withheld his name as investigations are continuing.
“There are likely to be a lot more people who have lost out that we do not yet know about.”
Dubai Police is investigating claims by customers who have lost household items.
Condictor Solutions is one of a handful of companies helping to recover and repatriate lost belongings.
“We are confident there are possessions of about 150 customers in warehouses in Dubai, still waiting to be shipped when the owners have long left the UAE,” the Condictor Solutions spokesman said.
“This man, Lionel Davis, has been operating with no conscience at all.” Mr Davis is said to be the operator of Expat Relocation.
Debi Adler said she lost possessions worth about Dh250,000 after hiring Expat Relocations to move her household goods to the US.
“I was quoted Dh18,950 for a door-to-door service by Lionel,” she said. “I met six moving firms before choosing Expat Relocations. Boy, was I wrong.
“I was quoted Dh3,000 for insurance but not given a copy of the details and paid 50 per cent of the charges on packing of the goods, and the rest when they were collected to be shipped.
“I still haven’t received the goods in Dallas.”
Mrs Adler complained numerous times to the company, and threatened to call the police.
“It’s the sentimental value, with pictures and memorabilia from 23 years of marriage and raising six daughters,” she said. “This has been one of the worst experiences of my life.”
Paulo, who was moving home to Italy, had a similar experience after being charged Dh6,000 to move 20 boxes that still have not arrived.
Insurance firm Axa has launched its own investigation into the alleged fraudulent activity.
Cedric Charpentier, chief executive of Axa Insurance Gulf, said: “We are aware of this situation and sympathise with the families and individuals who have been affected.
“What we can comment on is that there has been a fraudulent misrepresentation of Axa Gulf’s insurance policies.”