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DATE News (chronologically)
12/26/08
automotive
Ferrari wrecked by Arab prince  A city worker claims he is £100,000 out of pocket after a Kuwaiti prince hired his prized Ferrari — and wrote it off.

The 190 mph supercar exploded into a fireball when the fuel lines ruptured after it smashed into a lamppost.

Gleaming ... Andrew Hobb with Ferrari

Gleaming ... Andrew Hobb with Ferrari

The driver and passenger did a runner outside the Kuwait Embassy in London’s posh Knightsbridge after the 5 am crash.

Maniac

And last night Andrew Hobb, 40, said: “He must have been driving the car like a maniac.”

The financial adviser had agreed to let out his gleaming 360 Modena through a hire car company for £1,500.

But after the crash he had to turn DIY detective when hire car company Simply Smart became cagey over the ID of the driver. 

He discovered it was Faisal Sabah Salem Alsabah, 23, who at that time was attending Sandhurst, Britain’s top military college.

The prince’s grandfather was His Highness Sheikh Jabir III bin Ahmad Al-Sabah, the 13th Emir of Kuwait.

And his father is Dr Hamid Al-Bayati, based in New York as Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations. The ruling family in the Middle East state later transferred £98,562.50 to Simply Smart to pay for the car.

But the rental company then closed down without any of the cash being passed on to Andrew, of Box Hill, Surrey.

Andrew has now obtained civil court orders against Simply Smart’s Iraqi ex-boss Mohammed Hamis and two fellow directors ordering them to pay up.

Gutted ... 190mph Ferrari in flames

Gutted ... 190mph Ferrari in flames

However they appear to have gone to ground.

Andrew fumed: “As well as the value of the car, I’ve spent £30,000 on legal advice.

“If I had crashed the car like that, the police would have locked me up and thrown away the key.

“But it seems that when they hired out the Ferrari, there was no proper insurance on it.

“The rear tires had been new when I last saw it.

“But when I looked at the smoldering wreckage they were nearly bald.

“So he must have been driving it like a maniac all weekend.”

Kuwaiti prince ... Faisal Sabah Salem Alsabah, 23

Kuwaiti prince ... Faisal Sabah Salem Alsabah, 23

Scandalous

Andrew added: “I’ve even written to Alsabah’s father at the United Nations but I have heard nothing back.

“It’s nothing short of scandalous.”

Last night a spokesman for the Kuwaiti Embassy said after speaking to Faisal: “The amount for the car has been paid to the hire company.

“He did what he could to compensate, and it is now an issue between Mr. Hobb and the company. The contract was between them.

“But we can understand why Mr. Hobb is angry.”

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