Woman guilty of breaching the UAE charity law
Woman facing deportation over fundraising
A woman has been fined Dhs5,000 and faces deportation after being found guilty of breaching the UAE’s laws on charity fundraising.
Dubai Court of Appeal found the 41-yearold British woman, LS, guilty of obtaining funds online by promoting fundraising activities without permission from the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities (IACAD).
The appeal court overturned the First Instance Court verdict, which acquitted the woman in June. She has been ordered to pay a Dhs5,000 fine and will be deported.
Prosecutors said the woman was using a fake name and running a fundraising website and a Facebook page.
In her defence, the woman claimed that donations were going to sick and poor people in the UAE.
She posted on the Facebook page that she was asking for funds to help two brothers suffering liver disease.
An official at Dubai Public Prosecution said: “The IACAD had actually warned her, but she didn’t stop her work and they lodged a complaint. The sentence is lenient as the fine is very little compared to the rest of fines under the law.” The official said the defendant can appeal. Prosecution said that she used the fake name and conned people who wanted to volunteer, using them for fundraising activities.
The woman found herself the subject of an investigation on May 31 last year, when IACAD lodged a complaint at Port Police Station.
The charity law in Dubai 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.