According to several local reports, police recently arrested six technicians at Auto Nejma’s dealership in Rabat. The employees allegedly regularly stole parts from clients’ cars and replaced them with cheaper spares. The stolen parts were then sold for thousands of dirhams on the black market.
A victim’s testimony
One of the scheme’s victims who prefers to remain anonymous confirmed the information to Morocco World News. He explained how employees at Auto Nejma Rabat attempted to exploit his car’s repair.
In March, the victim took his car to the dealership for a maintenance check related to dashboard issues.
According to the car owner, the inspection should not have lasted more than half an hour because it concerned minor issues. However, the man waited for technicians to conduct his car’s check-up for several hours.
“I stayed in the waiting room from 2 p.m. until 5 or 6 p.m. Every few minutes, one of the employees who looked suspicious came to check if [I was] still sitting down,” he recalled.
After tiring of waiting without a clue as to when his car would be ready, he went to the parking lot to discover that his vehicle had been severely damaged and was in a “suspicious position.”
“When I caught the people there in the act, their reaction was virulent. When I wanted to know the circumstances of what happened, they… refused to provide me with any information,” he said, adding, “I had to call the police.”
The following video, which the victim provided, shows that his car sustained serious damage. The passenger side of the car appears to have been violently hit. The tire is completely flat and the passenger airbag has activated.
The managers at Auto Nejma Rabat claimed that the damage came from an accident that occurred in the parking lot. In a letter they sent to the victim one day after the incident, the dealership offered to pay for all the necessary repairs.
However, the victim believes they deliberately damaged his car. “Everything looked very suspicious. There was no other damaged car, only mine. I am uncertain of why they would do that, but it looked deliberate,” he said.
An expert report issued after the incident confirmed the victim’s suspicions and completely ruled out the possibility that the car was damaged by another vehicle in the parking lot.
According to the report, which the victim shared with Morocco World News, the car sustained the damage outside of the parking lot, while going at a speed of approximately 60 kilometers per hour. Vehicles moving in such a small parking lot cannot reach such a high speed.
The victim’s theory is that employees at Auto Nejma Rabat sabotaged his car in order to buy time to steal and replace parts while doing repairs.
The theory is supported by the recent arrest of six suspects who worked at the dealership.
Morocco World News attempted to contact Auto Nejma on several occasions for comment on the case, but our calls went unanswered.
Auto Nejma, as the sole distributor of the luxurious Mercedes-Benz brand in Morocco, counts among its clients prominent Moroccan businesspeople, as well as government bodies and foreign diplomatic missions.
If the fraud allegations prove to be true, some important public figures could appear on the list of victims. Pending investigations, four of the suspects are currently in custody at the Arjat prison near Rabat, while two are on bail.
Charges facing the suspects include fraud, robbery, breach of trust, damage to people’s property, and formation of a criminal group.