Richards cleared over charity case
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