UAE to develop laws to fight crimes, fraud

Sheikh Mohammed chairs Cabinet meeting (Wam)

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has said that the UAE will continue to develop legislation and laws to protect the community and markets from various types of crimes and fraud, in accordance with the best systems and international standards.

He made his remarks during Sunday morning's Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Court, in the presence of Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The Cabinet endorsed the new federal laws on commercial fraud and human trafficking.

Sheikh Mohammed noted that the continuous amendment of laws pertaining to consumer protection and fighting commercial fraud are in accordance with the directives of the government to build transparent and professional markets in which sellers and consumers enjoy full rights and duties.

"Consumer protection consolidates the principle of transparency and impartiality in business," he said, noting that "the enactment of laws for protection of consumers regulates markets and raises their standards, and reflects the state's keenness to protect citizens from any harmful practices in the local market."

The general provisions of the new federal bill include several articles covering all types of commercial fraud, such as the sale, display or possession of counterfeit goods or corrupt or counterfeit awards, in addition to the provisions related to the prohibition of misleading commercial advertisements.

The bill tightens punishments for breaches of regulations relating to food, drugs and medicines and others due to the seriousness of such offences that may pose a threat to human and animal health as well as to the environment.

It also lays down a mechanism to deal with counterfeit or rotten goods. The bill obliges importers to return these goods to their source of origin within a specified period, or to destroy them. It also sets out other penalties for multi-purpose shops and other business irregularities.

Based on the new draft law, the "Higher Committee to Combat Commercial Fraud" has been formed in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers. It will be chaired by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy. The committee will study reports of fraud and deceit referred to it by the competent authority and take the necessary decisions.

The Cabinet also amended some provisions of the federal law No. 51 of year 2006 on human trafficking, to ensure the rights of victims and provide medical, psychological and security care in line with international conventions in this respect.

The Council of Ministers also endorsed the estimated budget for the General Pensions and Social Security Authority for the fiscal year 2013. Total revenues were set at over Dh4. 451billion, while the estimated total expenditures were estimated at over Dh3.7 billion.

The Cabinet also approved the hosting of the headquarters of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements in the Middle East, which aims to protect nature and environment through the promotion and dissemination of organic agriculture systems, exchanging of information and ideas among its members and to help develop and review the standards of the federation regarding the production, processing and trading of organic products.

The Council of Ministers also approved a draft agreement between the UAE Government and Turkey on the implementation of electric power projects and the development of coal mines in Turkey.

The Cabinet endorsed eight agreements concerning avoidance of double taxation on income with Fiji, Mexico, Iraq, Lithuania, Benin, Japan, Libya and Ecuador to strengthen the partnership, economic cooperation with these countries.

It also approved the agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to income tax signed between the UAE and Panama and two agreements on the regulation of air transport services between the UAE and Swaziland and Latvia.

The Agreement of Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters between the UAE and India was also approved. This is intended to strengthen the economic partnership and trade exchange between the two countries through facilitating customs procedures.

Mohammed receives ambassadors of Spain, Canada and Malaysia

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, received on Sunday the newly appointed ambassadors of Spain, Malaysia and Canada, who came to greet him at the beginning of their tenure in the UAE.

Sheikh Mohammed welcomed Ambassador of Spain Jose Eugenio Salarich, Ambassador of Malaysia Ahmed Anwar bin Adnan and Canadian Ambassador Arif Lalani in the presence of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister.

Sheikh Mohammed wished the new envoys a pleasant stay in the UAE and success in their mission, assuring them of the support and assistance from the concerned authorities in the UAE to enable them to carry out their duties to serve the joint interests and expand cooperation between their respective countries and the UAE in various fields.

The meeting was attended by Cabinet Affairs Minister Mohammed Abdullah Al Gargawi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State Reem Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Director of Dubai Ruler's Office Lt. General Musabbah Rashid Al Fattan, Dubai Director of Protocol and Hospitality Khalifa Saeed Suleiman and a number of officials.

Ajman Ruler condoled on death of brother

Sheikh Mohammed visited Al Zaher Palace on Sunday and offered condolences to Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council member and Ruler of Ajman, on the death of his brother Sheikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Nuaimi.

Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, sons of the deceased, Mohammed Abdullah Al Gargawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Lt. General Musabbeh Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the Office of the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director General of Dubai Protocol and guests were present on the occasion.