Luxury yachts worth $4m stolen from Dubai used for crime

Two luxury yachts worth more than US$4 million have been stolen from Dubai by a fugitive conman and used by criminals including human traffickers and gun runners.

UK private investigators are trying to recover the yachts. They were used by Ultimate Charter for daytrips around Dubai and weekend parties.

The company was managed by Tareq Siam, who is wanted by Dubai Police for a string of unrelated offences. The boats went missing in July last year and police were told a week later.

 Mr Siam is thought to be hiding in Manila, the Philippines. Alter Ego and Zula were stolen from Dubai Marina, along with about €425,000 (Dh1.8m) of the business’s operating budget. Investigators at Condictor Solutions want information from anyone in Dubai who left a boat with Ultimate and has had trouble recovering them.
“The two boats belonging to our client, who lives in Europe, have ended up in the Philippines where he [Mr Siam] is hiding,” said John Brown, director of fraud investigations and recovery at Condictor.

“We are in the process of recovering them but it is a long police process.”

Mr Siam is wanted by Dubai Police for an unpaid fine of Dh1,000 and is due to serve a one-year sentence for alcohol-related offences and other unspecified charges filed between 2011 and 2014.

He is also believed to owe large sums to banks in the UAE.

“We are also aware he has a Jordanian and Israeli passport, and may have used another one of our client’s boats for people trafficking in Turkey, along with a Syrian partner,” Mr Brown said.

“From all the documents and evidence we have seen, Siam owes at least one bank in Dubai $1m [Dh3.6m] and left the country by cover of night on a boat via Oman.”

The stolen boats were registered in the company name of Ultimate Charter as assets of the business, which also rents out luxury cars and charters helicopter rides around Dubai. It has a fleet of more than 35 yachts for rent ­online.

The company Peters and May provides global boat transport and marine logistics for premier race teams, superyacht makers and private boat owners.

They were used to transport the vessels to the Philippines, unaware that they were stolen. The company has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

“We tracked the boats down to Aberdeen Harbour in Hong Kong,” said Alfie, a former British soldier and one of the operation leaders at Condictor.

“We have had eyes on the boats for a while now and faced the dilemma of either paying our security teams to continue to watch the vessel, or move in and seize them and get Peters and May to ship them back to Dubai.

“Seizing the vessel in Hong Kong national waters created a delay, and in that time the boats were moved to Subic Bay in the Philippines and then Manila.

“The boats were fitted with a transponder so we found they had made a difficult five or six-day charter period to get to their destination.”

At the height of its operations, Ultimate Charter had 10 staff running daily trips around the UAE coast.

Mr Siam is believed to have commandeered a third vessel, a catamaran called No Shoes that was moored in the Mediterranean.

“We have identified No Shoes as being used for human trafficking while we believe the other vessels have been used for trafficking narcotics and weapons in South America and the Caribbean,” Alfie said.

“We have reported this activity to the National Crime Agency in the UK, because they have a ­liaison officer in Dubai who is also monitoring the situation.

“This is not someone who has made a mistake. This is a criminal gang and serious ­offences are taking place while charter routes are still being advertised out of Dubai.

“If anyone has any information on these two boats stolen from Dubai, we would be very happy to hear from them.”

To pass on any information, contact John Brown at enquiry@condictorsolutions.com.

(Source credit – The National)

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