Richards cleared over char­ity case

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - ali.shouk@7days.ae

Pros­e­cu­tors have dropped a crim­i­nal case against a man sus­pected of breach­ing the UAE’s laws on char­ity fundrais­ing. Scott Richards, 42, will face no fur­ther ac­tion for helping to raise money for a refugee camp in Afghanistan. The Bri­tish-Aus­tralian eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment ad­viser, who lives in Dubai, was orig­i­nally de­tained for more than two weeks at Mu­raqqa­bat Po­lice Sta­tion in late July. He was re­leased on bail last month. Dubai Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion has now con­firmed that no crim­i­nal case will pro­ceed. Ear­lier this year, Richards shared a Face­book post about the US Zwan Fam­ily Char­ity, which was rais­ing funds for the Qam­bar refugee camp on the out­skirts of Kabul, where dozens of chil­dren died of cold and star­va­tion sev­eral years ago. Of­fi­cials be­lieve he raised about $500 within the UAE. Richards’ lawyer told 7DAYS: “The in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that what he did was not suf­fi­cient to be classed as a crime. “The case has been dis­missed. It’s true my client pro­moted rais­ing money for a char­ity but he didn’t cause dam­age to any­one.” He said his client re­mains liv­ing in the UAE. Richards had faced charges of pro­mot­ing fundrais­ing with­out per­mis­sion from the Depart­ment of Is­lamic Af­fairs and Char­i­ta­ble Ac­tiv­i­ties (IACAD). The law gov­ern­ing char­i­ta­ble ac­tiv­i­ties was an­nounced in 2015. It states that any­one wish­ing to fundraise in the UAE must have per­mis­sion from IACAD. A failure to reg­is­ter can carry a sen­tence of up to one year in jail or a fine of up to Dhs100,000.

CASE CLOSED: Scott Richards

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