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  • Writer's pictureIPEX

UAE Bank Interpol Red Notice DELETED

Updated: Feb 8

UAE and Qatar banks use Interpol as debt collectors.

Bank's Interpol Red Notice serves as warning to foreign property investors:

In 2008, an investor accepted a mortgage offer of AED 2m from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) for a property in development by UAE government owned entity Nakheel (colloquially referred to as 'NakHELL'). He continued to service his mortgage for several years.

When the world economic crisis hit, development of the estate was cancelled by Nakheel and the customer discovered that ADCB had financed the development themselves. They refused to refund the payments he had already made and instead forced him to buy a different, more expensive property which required him to pay significant and unexpected extra fees on top. The customer moved abroad in 2012 but continued servicing the (now larger) mortgage. He tried to settle the mortgage in its entirety which would have only been 350,000 AED at the time, but the developer refused.

Due to the economic crisis, he lost his employment and returned to the UAE but for the year that he was there, he was unable to find a new job. He was unable to service the mortgage for a house that he would never have access to. However, he had offered a repayment plan of 5,000 AED per month.

There had never been any behaviour from the customer that could be deemed as “fraudulent”. He acted in good faith, repaying a mortgage where the terms were breached by the developer and like many investors, he was unfairly criminalised in the UAE and an Interpol Red Notice was issued against him in 2018 for “bounced cheques”.

The cheque referred to in the Red Notice request was a “security cheque” that banks demand of their customers in the UAE. They are designed to be presented in the event of any default on repayment, regardless of the circumstances, so that person can be jailed. However, a mortgage default is not a crime as per Interpol’s charter, nor in most places in the world. In any other country, the customer would have been refunded when the development ceased or in a worst case scenario, he may go bankrupt but he would not end up in prison or on Interpol’s Red Notice databases. Banks misusing Interpol as a debt collection agency is abusive to Interpol and to the victims of this abuse.

IPEX (Interpol and Extradition) Reform founder and expert witness, Radha Stirling, said “UAE and Qatar banks have a history of misusing Interpol as a debt collection agency, in hope this will put additional pressure on a customer to pay a loan, mortgage or credit card debt. In many instances, this has led to the wrongful detention of bank customers abroad."

“This abuse of Interpol’s databases has caused the unfair and lengthy detentions of numerous individuals in countries like Spain, Greece, Iraq, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy and more. I am pleased that we were able to secure the deletion of our client’s Interpol Red Notice and his ultimate freedom, but abuse like this needs to end. “This case should serve as a stark warning to real estate investors whom the UAE is attempting to lure into buying property with luxury estate expos being held in the UK and the US. People don’t yet realise the serious risk of being criminalised by the United Arab Emirates."

“Interpol does not sanction nor penalise any member state who abuses the system and as such, countries will continue to misuse their membership."

“Interpol is complicit in numerous and serious human rights abuses and will soon be held to account. Interpol has become a pay to play organisation, open to manipulation and abuse by countries with poor human rights records. Countries like the UAE, Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Egypt and China have been able to use the crime tool for their own personal vendettas. Countries like the Emirates have used Interpol’s reach to extend their jurisdiction beyond their borders, causing the arrest, detention and prosecution abroad of many innocent victims. Innocent individuals have been listed on Interpol, arrested, detained and tried for “crimes” that don’t even meet Interpol’s minimum reporting criteria."

"Journalists, activists, businessmen and credit card debtors have been locked up in Western nations at the mere request of countries who repeatedly take advantage of their membership ith Interpol.”


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