Transit passenger arrested in Abu Dhabi for unpaid UAE bank dues

UAE: A passenger traveling from Saudi Arabia to India via the UAE has been detained in Abu Dhabi in a case involving bank loans and credit card dues. The passenger, Abdul Raheem, 40, earlier worked in the UAE and left the country without allegedly clearing his dues.

Raheem, an Indian newspaper delivery driver in Saudi Arabia, was on his annual vacation from Jeddah to the Nedumbassery International Airport, Kerala, on September 1, 2015, when he was detained at the Abu Dhabi airport by the police. Raheem has already spent more than two weeks in the UAE and is out on bail after pledging his passport.

Speaking to Emirates 24|7 he says: “I was travelling on an Etihad Airways flight from Jeddah to Kochi on September 1, 2015. “When the plane reached Abu Dhabi, a CID officer came to the aircraft, called out my name inside the plane and took me out.

“He told me I have unpaid loans and credit cards and that I cannot leave without clearing the dues.” He says that now he realises that it was a mistake to leave the UAE without clearing the dues. Raheem has approached the legal cell of the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) and his brother who works in Al Ain for help. According to an Indian social worker with the KMCC, the legal cell has begun receiving such cases, where transit passengers with pending loans or credit card payments to UAE banks, have been held up here.

“Many people think it is easy to take loans and credit cards and leave the country without clearing the dues. “They are taking a big risk. In this case, the victim is stranded here for 16 days and he has no means to make the payment.

“It is better to clear your dues and then leave the country,” said Advocate Sajid Aboobaker of Hani Al Jasmi Advocates, handling the Abdul Raheem case. “Any blacklisted person for loans or credit card default can be detained even after clearing immigration and boarding the plane.” “My salary in Saudi Arabia was only SR1,200 and now I will be stuck in jail here,” is how Raheem sees his future.

1 Comment

  1. Bodaa sheera?

    All the sharia banking laws and their draconian implications aside, the arrested man almost makes it sound like it’s alight to take out loan and abscond, so as to an extent to play victim in this incidence. Surely one would know they have to pay the money they have borrowed?

    There is another angle to banking in the Middle East – The oil boom in the last few decades has created an economy which almost looks like it has Western touch however at the core it’s still enshrined in the Islamic banking laws which makes it a criminal offence to default on the loans (as opposed to civil offence in the West/India). Many enlightened souls have fallen for this and almost certainly there will be more in the future.

    That said, I personally do not see anything wrong in Sharia banking per se however I take exception to this “western gloss” the Middle Eastern countries embellish in their banking system to make it look posh and modern. That breaks my noodle.

    Sharia banking is responsible banking where the borrower and the lender are brought together and both are responsible for the trade they make. This gives an opportunity for due diligence by the lender on the ability of the borrower to pay back the money based on the agreed terms. In the Western banking (which is what India also follows), there is opacity between borrower and the lender and the banks act as this wall between the two parties. The saver has no visibility on how responsibly his money in the bank is lent to a borrower. And this is at the heart of what’s wrong with the Western economy today. Banks gamble with the savers’ money and yet the savers are blissfully unaware of it. They take solace in this FDIC, deposit guarantee scheme etc. which practically can never work when the banking system grows beyond leap and bounds.

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