• Radha Stirling

Interpol Red Notices issued by the UAE for civil matters: bounced cheques, debt, private disputes



The UAE takes a very aggressive approach to financial cases, and relatively minor issues such as a bounced cheque can escalate into a major problem very quickly.


It has become a common practice for the Emirates to report debtors to Interpol, resulting in a person being tagged with a Red Notice, restricting their freedom to travel, and putting them at risk of extradition, simply because they may have written a cheque that didn't clear the bank.


Unpaid debts can be misconstrued as fraud cases, leading to convictions in a UAE civil or criminal court, and, again, resulting in an Interpol Red Notice, or even a formal extradition request.

This constitutes a serious abuse of the Interpol Red Notice system, and it is an extremely hostile, not to mention improper, method for resolving straightforward financial cases.


Unforeseen circumstances can cause anyone to find themselves temporarily unable to meet their debt obligations, and this calls for negotiation, not prosecution, and certainly not persecution; which is what a Red Notice amounts to when the issue is a private financial matter.


The UAE's use of Interpol as a subcontractor for debt collection agencies is a violation of Interpol's own protocol and mandate, and there is no reason for a bounced cheque or an unpaid debt to cause someone to be stopped at the airport and treated like a dangerous criminal.


Detained in Dubai has dealt with a number of cases that were inappropriately reported to Interpol, and had the Red Notices successfully lifted. It is important to deal with these situations as quickly as possible, as the internal review process at Interpol can be time-consuming. Interpol is not required to publish notices on their website and most UAE notices are not published. If one has been already reported, suspects that they may have been reported, or if they believe that they will be; actions can be taken to prevent the report or if already filed, resolve the issue, but we advise you not to delay.




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