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21 April 2024

UAE leasing firms find vehicles gone missing

By V M Sathish

Car and bus rental companies are desperately trying to locate vehicles that their clients have absconded with.

Al Muzammil Passengers Transport by Rental Buses LLC, Abdul Gafoor N Badisha Passenger Transport and Kashmir Star Passenger Transport are three vehicle renting companies that provide buses with or without driver to UAE-based firms.

Four vehicles belonging to these companies, leased out to two identical-sounding clients, are missing for a couple of weeks now. The company’s managers are desperately trying to locate the absconding clients who have their mobile phones switched off and their office premises closed.

Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Al Ameena Manzoorudeen, managing partner of a vehicle renting company, said: “This is the first time that we have had clients who have absconded with the vehicles. Other vehicle renting companies have also come forward with complaints about some errant clients.” 

In one case, a 15-seater bus was rented out to an Al Ain company without verifying whether such a company existed. “They hire buses for one to six months and opt for the latest models without drivers. The mini bus was 2010 model and there is no trace of the client,” he added.

“Two 15-seater buses are missing from our company for almost one month now. We did not know the client earlier. We got his documents like trade licence, passport copy and other documents as per law for a normal agreement. I spotted one bus in Sharjah. We are now taking legal measures to retrieve the two buses,” said Sajid Hussain of Kashmir Star Passenger Transport, located in Hor Al Anz.

Says Abdul Gafoor, one of the victims: “We have leased a Dubai-registered 15-seater 2008 model bus No. 35439 B. A company called Western Light General Contracting with phone number 02-5516221 issued me a cheque for Dh3,500. The agreement was for six months. Now, we are unable to locate these people and our vehicle is missing for almost a month now.”

The company received an enquiry from a mobile phone in the first week of December for two 15-seater mini-buses for six months, without fuel and driver. A six-month agreement was signed and the vehicles were delivered to an Al Ain firm. One of them is a Toyota Hiace 2010 model with Dubai registration No.E 16652, engine No. 2TR8223069 and chassis No. JTGJX02P6A5016074 is now missing and the leasing company is now taking legal measures to retrieve the vehicle. One vehicle is worth Dh70,000 and the other Dh60,000.

“We realise that two other companies have also lost their mini-buses leased for six months. We are alerting other vehicle renting companies about this fraud. Now we are very careful with each client,” he added.

When the company’s officials tried to call the clients to give the monthly invoice for Dh3,500, their mobile phones and land phones were switched off. They could not locate the clients and they fear that the clients have absconded with the vehicles or left the vehicle somewhere and absconded.

Another 15-seater vehicle was leased to Western Light General Contracting whose representatives contacted the vehicle renting company on mobile phone and a vehicle was delivered after signing a six-month agreement. This client too wanted a 15-seat latest model mini bus. Their mobile phones, land lines and office premises are not working now. The two missing vehicles are Toyota Hiace Dubai Reg. No. D11980 and Dubai Reg. No. E16652.