Woman guilty of breach­ing the UAE char­ity law

Woman fac­ing de­por­ta­tion over fundrais­ing

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Ali Al Shouk @alial­shouk ali.shouk@7days.ae

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.

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