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Jail for Selfies

So, you're on holiday in the UAE, seeing the sights; the beach, Burj Khalifah, your plush hotel cafe...and, naturally, you want to take some selfies. Fill your friends on Facebook and Instagram with envy, right? Unfortunately, even this has become a risky issue in the UAE. You're going to need to take that selfie in a secluded corner of the cafe, or visit Jumeirah Beach at about 5 o'clock in the morning if you want a selfie that includes the sea and sand;because it is a criminal offence in the UAE if your selfie even accidentally contains the image of a stranger in the background. "You could find yourself taking a mugshot for taking a selfie." In the UAE, people meandering about in public

Beware of money requests for lawyers from Dubai. Scams using a Dubai Jail format

We have received five enquiries this year from people who have been requested to send funds to a lawyer because their partner has been arrested in Dubai. The fraud usually involves a few planned stages: 1. An intimate but remote relationship is established with the potential victim, men often posting as US Military personnel. We have seen both men and women being targeted; 2. There is a promise of marriage or intention to live together and a serious commitment made; 3. The conman is then fictitiously arrested, usually en route to see the victim (actually, they are still in a warehouse office, somewhere in the world, working their part in the next scam); 4. The victim receives a message

UAE Bankruptcy Law Proposals & the decriminalisation of bounced cheques. Will it happen and wil

Prison sentences for bounced cheques have been a hot topic in the UAE media over the years. The practice of holding cheques as security is akin to holding a prison sentence over someone´s head. David Haye, former heavyweight champion of the world, will fight next week in London after his bounced cheque related arrest in the UAE was resolved.... Landlords have requested post dated cheques for 12 months rent (or more) and so an unexpected loss of employment has lead to prison terms. In spite of the sanctions, most people need to write cheques for funds that they anticipate to have in their account in order to function normally in the UAE. It is practically impossible to avoid writing securi

Caution:  Do not use marijuana (or other prohibited drugs) before traveling to the UAE

Most travellers are aware that using drugs within the UAE is a serious crime, but may not be aware that having marijuana residue in their system can result in a 4 year prison sentence. With marijuana being legal in some countries in Europe, the ill researched traveller could end up serving time if the police perform a blood or urine test that proves positive. Samples for testing could be taken due to suspicion at the airport or in the event that one is involved in any other incident in the UAE such as an accusation of verbal abuse, alcohol consumption, or even a traffic related accident. While blood tests only return results for very recent consumption, urine tests can detect usage for up t

Clearance process following a court judgment

Once a judgment has been fulfilled, whether it be paying a fine or serving a prison sentence, the Courts should automatically process the removal of the cases from the national authority databases. However, we have found that approximately ten percent of fulfilled judgments are remaining as alerts that can lead to delays at border control points or unnecessary bureaucratic problems that need resolving, often at the most inconvenient of times. The process can be fulfilled manually by obtaining the necessary clearance paperwork from the Courts and the Police and then it is prudent to perform a final status check on the database to ensure that all alerts have been removed.

Cautions: Reporting Crime in Dubai can backfire

While it is very important that crime is reported, over the years we have received many complaints from foreign nationals who have been victims of crime, and so it is important that people are aware of the ramifications of reporting crime in the UAE so that they may make an informed decision. We have assisted individuals who have made reports in respect of “road rage”. Once the complaint was lodged with the police, a retaliatory accusation was made. This served as a negotiating tactic whereby the original claimant was forced to withdraw his claim in return for the retaliatory claim being dropped. The police are certainly aware that counter claims for criminal behaviour are used as a barga

Where a guilty plea is the most sensible option and how we help smooth the path..

In less serious criminal cases, it is sometimes more sensibly to enter a guilty plea even if the accused feels that they are innocent. If one pleads innocent, he will experience delays in the processing of his case. Such delays can be extensive, often up to six months or more. During this time, the accused will have to provide his passport to the police and therefore will not be able to return home and will not be able to seek employment. The costs of staying in the UAE with no ability to work will be high and where pleading innocent, a defence lawyer will need to be retained. In many cases, the result will end up being a guilty verdict anyway so it is quite a financial gamble to plead

Partnerships, Sponsors & the Expat Scapegoat. Challenges of the average expat Entrepreneur....

Seen from the outside, with its relative political and economic stability, generally favourable rankings as an investment destination, and a reputation for luxury, the UAE is seems attractive place to do business. But, from the inside, the picture is quite a bit more complicated. You should realise that the system in the UAE, to a great extent, is rigged. That doesn't mean you can't succeed business-wise, but you have to be wary and understand the potential pitfalls, because things are done very differently there than most Western businesspeople are used to. Without good advice, you can find yourself suddenly entangled in a civil, or even a criminal case, stranded and bankrupt, through no

Expats in the UAE flee debt with intention to return

Foreign nationals in the UAE who face police reports from creditors are increasingly fleeing to their homeland to avoid the criminalised punishments. Now though, more often than not, they pay off their debts from abroad with the intention to return to the UAE once they have settled obligations that could otherwise lead to imprisonment. Expats are astute enough nowadays to know that in the event they can not fulfil their credit payment obligations, a bank may open a police case that would lead to their passport confiscation. Once a passport is confiscated, the debtor will not be able to obtain employment in the UAE and ultimately, the debt will result in imprisonment if they are unable to p

Detained in Dubai supporting Embassies in the UAE

Embassies provide important services to citizens visiting and living abroad. However, under their agreements and charters, they are limited in the type of assistance they can provide. It often surprises citizens that the embassies are not able to involve themselves in the legal process of their host country. They do however, visit prisoners, recommend legal representation, assist families in locating loved ones and monitoring for human rights violations within detention facilities. UAE based embassies usually provide a list of law firms though their quality is not monitored and law firms who automatically achieve clients via the embassies can become complacent with their service levels.

The implications of a “GCCPol” listing: Living as a "wanted person" in the gulf...

We are contacted relentlessly by people who are concerned that they may be listed on the gulf region´s version of Interpol, GCCPol, headed up in Abu Dhabi. GCCPol is used by authorities in the gulf to locate parties who are wanted within the gulf region. A lot of wanted persons have pending cases covering crimes such as fraud, breach of trust, embezzlement, bounced cheques and commonly, bank debts and mortgage defaults. Most queries that we receive arise from expatriates who have lived and worked in the UAE and have needed to leave the country in order to avoid being imprisoned for debts or other financial crimes. Most have good intentions and wish to repay their debts or negotiate settlem

Censorship: UAE blocks organisation &

One of the main ways a government can prove its commitment to Human Rights and the Rule of Law, is by providing independent avenues for redress of grievances; even if that simply means keeping informational channels open for people to find resources for support. It has come to our attention that the government of the United Arab Emirates has blocked access to the Detained in Dubai website within the country, and has even blocked the website of my private legal practice. This is a severely reactionary measure, and indicates a very negative direction for the UAE. No government, no legal process, is without flaws. Irregularities, mistakes, and violations can occur under any system. And as l

Private funding of Interpol: another slam to credibility

It has recently come to light that Interpol has begun to receive funding from major corporations. Industries from tobacco to pharmaceuticals have made agreements with the international police organisation over the past 5 years, boosting Interpol's budget, but calling into question the nature of these agreements, and indeed, the integrity of Interpol itself; particularly in regards to cases of financial crimes, corruption, intellectual property infringement, and the like. We have seen a marked increase in the use of Interpol as a mechanism for pursuing private matters between lenders and allegedly defaulting clients, as well as cases involving patent and trademark disputes. When Interpol is r

Extradition News: UAE applies to Spain for the extradition of a British National accused of breach o

The UAE is increasing its efforts to extradite foreign nationals who have returned to their own countries. A number of the extradition requests have been initiated as a result of business disputes. Others have been for allegations of theft, breach of trust or fraud, sometimes arising from debt alone. Many expatriates who enter into business dealings in the UAE encounter problems that are criminalised when one party in a dispute makes a report to the police. In the UAE justice system, it is extremely difficult to defend allegations of criminality. The judicial system in itself has many failings including prejudice, the confiscation of the defendants passport (thereby rendering the defenda

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Copyright © 2007 - 2020 Due Process International,  Due Process International is a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, with its registered office at Intershore Chambers, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.