Submitting fake claims in the UAE can be subject to the provisions of the 'false accusations' under the UAE Penal Code. In this article, we will endeavor to discuss the concept of making fake claims or accusations under UAE law and its resulting punishment. The Federal Decree-Law No. 31/2021 on the Issuance of the Crimes and Penalties Law (the UAE Penal Code) defines the act of providing false reports to judicial or administrative authorities in the UAE as a punishable offence. The punishment can include imprisonment as well as fines. The significant factor checked by the UAE courts in false accusation crimes includes the aspect of 'bad faith'. In addition, if a false accusation leads to another person being convicted, then the same penalty shall be applied to the fabricator.
As per Article 324 any person who reports to the judicial authority or administrative authorities, accidents or risks which do not exist at such time or contrary to the truth or who reports a crime knowing that it is not actually committed, shall be liable to a jail sentence for a period not exceeding six (6) months and a fine or either one of these two penalties.
Furthermore, Article 325 provides that any person who, with bad intent, makes a false report to the judicial authority or administrative authorities, accusing a person of committing a matter which requires criminal or administrative punishment, even if such matter has not resulted in instituting the criminal or disciplinary action, and any person who creates material evidence to accuse a person of committing a crime contrary to the truth or causes legal proceedings to be initiated against a person knowing that he is innocent, shall be liable to a jail sentence and a fine or either one of these two penalties. A jail sentence and a fine shall be imposed in the two cases if the fabricated crime is a felony. If the false accusation results in a conviction with a felony punishment, the false accuser shall be sentenced to the same penalty imposed thereof.
Similarly, if a fake claim is based on forged documents, it invites punishments and penalties under forgery. The forgery of a document means any alteration of the truth in any of the methods indicated below, and which may cause harm with the intention to use it as a genuine document.
Forgery of an official document shall be punishable by temporary imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten (10) years, and forgery of an unofficial document shall be punishable by a jail sentence.
Article 251 of the UAE Penal Code states seven methods that are considered as committing the crime of forgery, and they include:
- Alteration of an existing document, either by removing or changing the writing of the document, or the numbers, the marks, or pictures included in or on the document.
- Placement of a forged signature or seal or by altering a genuine signature, seal, or fingerprint.
- Taking by surprise or by fraud the signature, seal, or fingerprint of a period without being aware of the content of the document or without a valid consent.
- Creation of a fake document or an imitation of a document and ascribing it to a third party.
- Filling a blank paper containing a signature, or a seal, or a fingerprint, without the approval of the person to whom the signature, seal, or fingerprint belongs.
- False impersonation or changing the identity in a document intended for such purpose.
- Alteration of the truth in a document intended as a proof, immediately upon preparation.
Raising a fake claim in the UAE is treated as a serious offence in most instances and may invite punishments for more than one offence, as we discussed above. The UAE heavily relies on the good faith principle, and the legal requisite remains that any report of submission provided to the judicial authorities in the UAE should be based on good faith.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.