The UAE’s Penal Code, as amended in 1987, is the country’s primary criminal law. There are a number of laws in the Penal Code that may be utilized to combat commercial-related crimes, but one crime is particularly well-suited to the all-too-frequent scenario of a trusted advisor, employee, or commercial partner taking advantage of their position to the disadvantage of their principal, employer or partner. This is referred to as a breach of trust in this instance.

An unauthorized translation of Article 404 of the Penal Code, as follows, is punishable:

Any individual who embezzles, misuses, or dissipates money, securities, or any other movable property with the goal of harming the true owner’s interests is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be sentenced to jail time or fined.

A proxy is any partner in common property, any agent of necessity with respect to the property of the concerned party, and any person for whom anything has been committed to being used for a particular purpose at the benefit of its owner or another.

To summarize, the language of the breach of trust provision implies that each partner in a joint property is a trustee over the other’s portion. In practice, this includes business partners when it comes to company funds.

As a result, this part allows businesses or business partners who have been injured by criminal employees or business partners to seek compensation and justice for losses incurred as a consequence of the other party’s crime.

A breach of trust conviction results in a penalty designed to discourage people in the UAE from doing it again. The Penal Code allows for imprisonment or a fine, each of which is determined depending on the offender’s culpability and is based on the crime’s classification.

The penalty for a breach of trust has become imprisonment from one month to three years, with a maximum fine of 100 to 30,000 UAE dirham (US$27 and 8,167).

A contemporary option

If the crime was committed using a computer, it may be possible to bring a case under Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 (Cyber Crimes Law) if one was used in the commission of the offense. In certain situations, the penalties in the Cyber Crimes Law are greater than those offered by the Penal Code alone. It is permissible in the following


  • Electronic document forgery
  • Knowingly using a bogus electronic document
  • Making unauthorized access to another’s property or property without legal basis via the use of an information technology system;
  • Using an IT system to access sensitive bank account information without authorization is a crime.
  • A computer system that has been illegally accessed.

Individuals’ or clients’ accounting records or bank information may be stolen or fraudulently obtained, as well as invoices being altered so that payments are sent to the offender’s account, just to name a few methods in which this might occur.

For example, reviewing financial papers or bank accounts of staff or customers to steal money or fraudulently draw funds, and altering invoices so that payments are sent to the offender’s account are all examples of this problem.

Making a compensation claim

Breach of trust is a criminal offense in the UAE, but it can be brought as a civil claim under the country’s civil law system. The victim’s case will run alongside the criminal charge, allowing her to seek compensation. If the criminal case is concluded in your favor, a specific amount of compensation will be established by a civil court based on the outcome of the crime.

A civil plaintiff may be able to obtain access to the public prosecution if he or she joins a criminal complaint, allowing him or her to submit memoranda and evidence in support of the claim. In many countries, including the United States and Austria, a victim’s statement or even a lawyer’s statement can be crucial for establishing the crime. In other situations, it may be essential to provide information in the victim’s (or their lawyer’s) own words. Expert opinions may be used to provide evidence in an easy-to-understand and convincing manner, which might result in a successful prosecution and, as a consequence, compensation for the victim.

Bottom line

The UAE is a land of promise, but it also has a long history of crime. Unfortunately, the law applies to criminals as much as honest and hard-working people. Because to the wide scope of the breach of trust provision, numerous fact situations may be discovered by the Penal Code. This is an especially helpful tool for individuals who have been the target of white-collar criminality, as it may be utilized in tandem with a civil lawsuit for compensation.