In a move intended to promote business confidence and aide those who find themselves in debt, Dubai Public Prosecution have launched a new Penal Order system that will allow minor misdemeanors, such as a bounced cheque, to be dealt with through fines rather than the court system. It is also intended that the move away from civil prosecution will ease the burden on the Dubai Courts, and allow greater time and resources to be devoted to more serious offences including money laundering, assaults and cybercrime.
The new Order comes under Law No. (1) of 2017 which was approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in March.
Under the new Order, which comes into effect in December 2017, the current understanding is that any individual who issues a bounced cheque not exceeding the value of AED 200,000 will be subject to the following fines:
- Bounced cheques not exceeding AED 50,000 –AED 2,000.
- Bounced cheques between AED 50,000 and AED 100,000 –AED 5,000.
- Bounced cheques between AED100,000 and AED 200,000 –AED 10,000.
It is important to note however that any individual who finds themselves in debt may still have a civil case opened against them, and be liable for any interest on outstanding debts. It is therefore advisable to seek legal adviceshould you have any concerns regarding bounced cheques and/or personal or company debt.
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