Can a bounced cheque still land you in jail? Dubai Police answers

Dubai Police has started a campaign to create awareness about the dangers of bounced cheques.

The two-week campaign titled ‘Cheque is a loyalty tool not an insurance tool’ will use various social media channels to inform people about the perils of issuing blank cheques while availing loans.

The punishment for issuing a bounced cheque is jail, fine, as well as returning the amount, said a top Dubai Police official.

General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, CID Assistant, Dubai Police, said: “Some people find themselves behind bars because they do not maintain enough balance in their accounts. This practice is harmful for the economy as well as families.”

“Many families are shattered because of this problem. Parents end up in jail and there is no one to support the family. So it is very important for people to be aware of the consequences before applying for loans,” Gen Mansouri added.

Statistics

The total amount of bounced cheques in Dubai was Dh33.3 billion for the last three years, he said.

Dubai Police opened 92,290 complaints of bounced cheques in the period from 2011 until the first three months of 2014. Majority of those involved in such case were aged between 18 and 35.

Grace period

Meanwhile, Brigadier Mohammad Nasir said that when the police receives a complaint of a bounced cheque, they first contact the person who issued the cheque. “We give them one month grace period to pay their dues. Only if they refuse or they cannot pay the amount will the case go to the court,”  he explained.

“We settled 55,000 complaints in the last three years. The problem is with blank cheques which people give to banks. When they stop paying the money and the bank wants its money back, they use this insurance cheque by writing the amount and present it to police,” said Brigadier Nasir.

“We have people staying in jail after finishing their jail term because they can’t return the money back and this is destroying their families. Please be careful before writing a cheque,” Brigadier Nasir urged.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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