The man who outbid the competition to land the Abu Dhabi 1 number plate for Dhs31 million has been arrested for issuing a bounced cheque to organisers.
Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution said it had ordered for the detention of AM, 32, for seven days, after auction organisers filed a complaint that he issued them a cheque, but didn’t have enough money in his bank to cover the whopping fee.
Prosecutors said the UAE national has been detained on behalf of Abu Dhabi public funds while they investigate him on initial charges of fraud and issuing a bounced cheque.
Prosecutors said that during questioning, AM admitted to handing over the cheque knowing that he didn’t have the funds in the bank to clear the cheque.
“He said he was planning to sell on the rare number plate at a profit so he can pay the value of the cheque to the organisers,” said a prosecutor.
However, authorities said a person can only re-sell a number plate bought in an auction after they have paid the full amount and that any resale before making the payment is considered illegal.
The auction, which generated Dhs99 million, was hosted by Emirates Auction in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Police on November 19 at Emirates Palace hotel to commemorate the Abu Dhabi Government’s Golden Jubilee.
The winning bidder beat several rivals for the coveted plate after bidding started at Dhs1 million.
He said after the auction that he bought it in honour of the country’s rulers, who worked tirelessly to make the UAE No 1 in the world.
He stressed that he was willing to pay any amount to get the plate number.
The limited-edition golden jubilee plates all feature the number 50 in the top left corner.
Fifty vanity Abu Dhabi number plates were up for grabs at the Emirates Auction event.