Where to report fraud?
Since the UAE is one of the major economic and financial hubs in the world, it is highly susceptible for financial crimes. In the recent past, the financial crimes have ramped up at an alarming rate. In this article, we will explore one of the common financial crimes: Fraud. In legal terms, fraud refers to an offense of acquiring money or other valuable property from a person through a fraudulent manner. For providing this offense, The deception is a key element, and the party alleging it needs to demonstrate that the impugned act involves both deception and fraudulent means to obtain property or assets.
The Federal Law No. (3) of 1987 (UAE Penal Code) provides for the punishment of the offense of Fraud. As per Article 399 of the Penal Code, if any person indulges in any fraudulent activities, he shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or a fine not exceeding 10,000 AED, or both.
In case of fraud, a huge chunk of money remains at stake. It is really important to report the offense in a timely manner with the suitable authorities so that they can start their investigation. In the UAE, an aggrieved person can register his complaint with the following authorities-
- The Central Bank: The central bank acts as the apex body of all the other banks and financial institutes in the country. If you are subject to fraud, you can easily approach the central bank. For registering a complaint, you can simply dial 800 (22823) or file a complaint form available on their website.
- Securities and Commodities Authorities:If you are subject to a fraud which involves securities or other such commodities, you can approach the Security and Commodity Authority (SCA). It mainly deals in regulating all the security transactions in the UAE. You can register your complaint through their online portal or alternatively, you can dial 800 (722823).
- Dubai Financial Service Authority: The main focus of this authority is to regulate the financial services which are ancillary to the DIFC. Unlike the aforementioned two, It has exclusive jurisdiction to investigate all financial matters when DIFC is involved.
- The Supreme Audit Institution (SAI): It is an independent and supreme audit body of the UAE. It works along with the Federal National Council. The jurisdiction of SAI is not only confined to audit the governmental departments but it also mandates to fight fraud and corruption. To register a complaint with SAI, you can file an application available on their website or dial 02-635-9999.
- Police authorities: Based on the jurisdiction, one can also lodge a complaint to the police authorities. Such as-
- Dubai Police: At the outset, you should dial toll free number 901 and you will be connected to the CID (Department of Criminal Investigation). In case of cyber fraud, you can register the complaint through Dubai Police’s e-Crime portal. This portal is dedicated to address all sorts of cyber fraud in the Emirate
- Abu Dhabi- The Residents of Abu Dhabi can report the fraud via the “Aman Service” provided by the Abu Dhabi Police. It is an initiative by the police authorities to enhance the security of its citizens and residents. For registering your complaint, simply dial toll-free number 800-2626, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sharjah and Ajman – The residents of Sharjah and Ajman can contact their emirate’s police authorities by dialing 901 to register their complaint..
The UAE has a well dedicated mechanism to deal with all the financial frauds in the country. There are a wide range of authorities dealing with it, including the Central Bank, Supreme Audit Institution, etc. For individuals, it is highly recommended to undertake all the precautionary measures before entering into big financial transactions and even if they are subject to fraud, file a complaint as soon as possible.