Forgery is considered a crime under the UAE laws and is punishable with imprisonment and/ or fines, depending upon the type of forgery.
What is Forgery?
Under the UAE Penal Code (Federal Decree Law No. 31 of 2021 On the Issuance of the Crimes and Penalties Law), forgery of a document is defined as any alteration of the truth of the documents by undertaking certain specified actions, which may cause harm, with the intention of using the forged document as a genuine one.
The following actions, as specified under Article 251 of the UAE Penal Code, will be considered as forgery.
While the UAE Penal Code provides the general definition of forgery in a document, Article 252 also prescribes penalty of imprisonment forging an unofficial document.
Are there any punishments under the Cybercrime Law?
Yes, there are. The United Arab Emirates issued a new law on cybercrime, called the Federal Decree-Law 34 of 2021 Concerning the Fight Against Rumours and Cybercrime (“New Cybercrime Law”) which repealed the previously existing Federal Decree-Law No. 5 of 2012 and came into force from 2 January 2022.
Article 14/2 of the New Cybercrime Law provides punishments for forging an electronic document of a body, pursuant to which, penalties including imprisonment and / or fines between AED 100,000 to AED 300,000 may be imposed on the perpetrator. In accordance with Article 14/3 of the New Cybercrime Law, any person who uses a forged electronic document, while knowing that it’s forged, will be punishable with the same penalty as prescribed for the crime of forgery.
The text of Article 14 of the New Cybercrime is set out below for ease.
Forging a Credit Card
The New Cybercrime Law, in fact, specifically provides penalties for forging a credit card, debit card or any other e-payment method. The penalties for forging a credit card is imprisonment and / or fines between AED 200,000 to AED 2 million.
Article 15 of the New Cybercrime Law, which sets out the punishments for breach of electronic payment methods is set out below.
“Everyone forges, counterfeits or copies a credit card, debit card or any e-payment method or seizes the data or information thereof, by using information technology means or information system shall be sentenced to detention and/or payment of fine of not less than (200,000) two hundred thousand Dirhams and not more than (2,000,000) two million Dirhams.
Everyone commits the following shall be subject to the same penalty: