Umm Al Quwain: Umm Al Quwain Police succeeded in arresting a person of Arab nationality who used social media and a special chat application to blackmail and threaten people, trying to conceal his real identity by using accounts and phone numbers from outside the country.
Lieutenant Colonel Marawan Rashid Mohammad, head of the prevention of Organised Crime Department at Umm Al Quwain Police General Headquarters, explained that an Arab person in his 20s was threatened with murder and extortion by an unidentified person. The perpetrator tried to conceal his identity by using fake accounts on social media and phone numbers belonging to companies located outside the country.
Lt Col Mohammad said following information about the complaint, a team of e-crime investigators was formed, which was able to quickly identify the suspect. The accused, in his 30s, was arrested from his residence and the devices used in carrying out his criminal activities were also seized. He was referred to the Criminal Investigations Department of Umm Al Quwain Police, who completed the investigation and legal procedures and transferred him to Public Prosecution.
Lt Col Mohammad stressed the importance of not falling prey to such suspicious messages or communications and not to be afraid of these criminals. He also urged residents to report cyberblackmail or any other threat without any hesitation because such cases are handled confidentially.
What does the law say?
Federal Decree Law N (5) of 2012 provides strict penalties, including fines and jail terms, on individuals found guilty of committing cybercrimes. According to Article 9 “whoever uses the internet or any means of information technology to threaten or blackmail another person in order to induce him or her to do or abstain from an act, then he/she shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years and a fine not exceeding Dh50,000 or either of these two penalties; and if the threat is to commit a felony or to impose matters harming one’s honour or consideration, then the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years.
According to Article 16 of the law, an individual found extorting or threatening a person can face a jail term of two years and a fine of up to Dh500,000.