UAE ends prison sentences for expat loan defaulters
Published: 1 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: Citizenship, Dubai, UAE
Following a relaxation for Emirati citizens in sentencing laws regarding the criminal offence of defaulting on loan payments, expats who bounce cheques will not now be given jail terms.
In October last year, the UAE ruler Sheikh Khalifa issued a royal decree announcing the decriminalisation of the issuing of bouncing cheques, which has now been extended to overseas workers in the emirate. According to Reuters, Ali Khalfan al Dhaheri, legal head of the kingdom’s Ministry of Presidential Affairs, announced today that expatriate debt defaulters would no longer face prison terms.
Al Dhaheri added that the inclusion of expats had been ordered by Sheikh Khalifa in the spirit of equality and fairness. The United Arab Emirates’ legal system has no bankruptcy laws, leaving debtors unprotected from their creditors and liable to serve several years in prison if they default on loans or their cheques are not honoured by the banks.
Many UAE lawyers representing offenders have been calling for the decriminalisation of the offence. Recently, a Dubai-based British businessman serving a three-year prison sentence for bouncing cheques was released following a seven-week hunger strike which resulted in his conviction being overturned.
The relaxed stance on the offence has been confirmed in an article by the National, an Abu Dhabi daily newspaper. Head of the Justice Ministry’s judicial inspection department Judge Jassem Saif Buossaiba confirmed to reporters that federal public prosecutors in the kingdom had been instrumental in freeing convicted Emirati offenders since the law changed in October, adding that expatriate prisoners convicted of the offence were also being freed.
- See more at: Cheque Bounce in Dubai,this is what I found on the Internet, please anybody help