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Wed 28 Mar 2012 10:16 AM

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UAE drops Interpol alerts against debt ‘skippers’

Notices fall from over 200 to 47 in a year, most alerts related to murder, manslaughter charges

UAE drops Interpol alerts against debt ‘skippers’

The UAE has removed most of the ‘red notices’ issued to Interpol to try and track down suspects who ‘skipped’ the country due to fraud and financial crimes.

The number of notices issued by the government - which are an official request to all Interpol’s 188 members to arrest those suspected of criminal activity - has dropped from over 200 by the end of 2010 to 47 in March this year.

Many of the notices that appear to have been cancelled by the UAE related to fraud, and have been linked with legislation that deems bounced cheques and some business failures a criminal matter.

An unknown number of expatriates ‘skipped’ the UAE as a result of the financial crisis, while reports suggested in 2007 that as many as 40 percent of the inmates in Dubai Central Prison were there for failing to repay bank loans.

The Gulf region’s consumer credit rose by 460 percent between 2002 and 2008 to reach US$151bn.

According to Interpol’s online records, only one British national is now the subject of UAE-requested ‘red notice’. Christopher Lockwood, aged 64, is wanted in connection with the high-profile assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai in 2010.

Most of the other existing notices issued by the UAE are related to crimes such as murder and manslaughter. There are still two notices related to ‘banking/financial fraud’ and three related to ‘fraud’. 

Local officials are currently working on a draft of the UAE’s first ever bankruptcy law, which is likely to be completed by the end of the year.

“I am pleased for those who can finally live without the fear of being arrested and possibly extradited to the UAE for matters most countries consider civil,” Radha Stirling, a British lawyer and founder of the ‘Detained in Dubai’ support group, told Arabian Business in an email statement.

“We hope that this move will improve the credibility of the other UAE-issued Interpol notices for more serious crimes and we can now focus on negotiating with banks to repay debts, rather than extradition hearings.”

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Jack 8 years ago

Actually the UAE forced to drop the names of debt-insolvents (should not be named skippers), cause as matter of fact, the Interpol has not been found to deal in civil financial disputes. Around the globe millions of people suffered from the alive financial crisis. Why the other countries did not apply such unfair, rigid and non-human act. God bless the justice.

nora 8 years ago

my husband is currently held in lebonon for a red alert from uae beacuase of a mortgage default due to loss of job ,
can any one please tell me how ca we get him a relaease since the case is totally unfair...........please help

Subhashillickan 7 years ago

People going to work in UAE are talented and skilled in their profession and support the country to build up its infrastructure. They are not looters or skippers or frauds. Most of them are forced to leave the country without settling the CC debts for reasons beyond their control such as losing job. If they are allowed to enter the country to work again, they can easily pay off the debt. Instead, the country is employing an unpractical way of putting the person in jail to recover his debt. In most cases, his wife, children and relatives are not capable of paying for him other than suffering the mental agony. Let the police arrest him and make an arrangement with the bank and the new employer to pay off the debt in a time bound manner, allowing him to work. This will result in a huge rise in collection of arrears of credit card dues and decrease in the expenses as fee paid to debt collection agents.

Anis Jarrar 6 years ago

The UAE is living proof that Human Rights can be bought and sold for the right price. No one will challenge racism or injustice in the UAE because they have the money and the oil; it's that simple. People rot away in Emarati prisons for cases that should have been settled in civil courts; a lot of good people who had no control over their circumstance are bullied and threatened into fleeing the country every day. I truly hope that one day soon; Emaratis find themselves on the receiving end of their own medicine.

hamed hassan 6 years ago

On iterpol site, Qatar, is seeking many people through the interpol after they lost their job and their residency rights, their lives e ruined by red notice from interpol.

Naeem 4 years ago

The above comments are fair given change in circumstances when a person has no control. However, there is a large number of people out there, who use the same recipe to defraud people of the money and then would love to go to a civil court for settlement.
Simple lesson learnt: Never hand over your money to others regardless of the paper securities provided (cheques, agreements, etc.)
Not sure, how many of the persons commenting above have faced real life situation of getting conned in the name of business or investments especially for amounts closer to their life savings.
Conclusion: If I were to be conned, it was better I never worked and never earned that money or never sacrificed wishes and had spent the money earned.