Banks 'could freeze accounts' of ID card violators

Emirates Identity Authority confirms it is in talks with banks over Dec 31 deadline.
Banks 'could freeze accounts' of ID card violators
By Andy Sambidge
Thu 13 Nov 2008 08:38 AM

UAE residents who fail to register for their national identity cards before the deadline of December 31 could have their bank account frozen, it was claimed on Thursday.

A top official at the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) said they were working with a number of banks across the country to see how they can cooperate with the federal law requiring all UAE nationals and professional expats to hold ID cards by the end of 2008.

At present details are unclear, but Thamer Rashed Al Qasemi, planning director for EIDA, told UAE daily Khaleej Times: "“Some government and private sector companies are in support of this scheme…we are working closely with banks, which are also in support of this law.”

Expatriate professionals who do not carry cards will not be fined until 2010 but may be unable to access government services such as healthcare after the deadline for registration.

The paper did not make it clear whether the account suspensions would be levied only on the accounts of UAE nationals or to expats also.

An estimated 552,000 people are still to register for the ID cards amid long queues at EIDA centres in the UAE but the authority said it has no plans to extend the deadline.

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