Cyber criminals promoting cryptocurrency scams online will face five years behind bars and fines of up to Dh1 million under tough new UAE laws introduced to protect the public from financial fraud.
The clampdown was introduced as part of a series of sweeping legal reforms announced by President Sheikh Khalifa last month.
The new legislation broadens the country’s current cyber crime laws to cover the advertisement of rogue cryptocurrency schemes which are not recognised by UAE authorities.
“As per article 48, posting misleading ads or inaccurate data online about a certain product will be punishable with jail and/or a fine between Dh20,000 and Dh500,000,” said Dr Hassan Elhais, of Al Rowaad Advocates.
“The same penalty applies to members of the public who promote cryptocurrencies unrecognised by authorities in the country.”
Dr Elhais explained that previous laws banned promoting cryptocurrencies but didn’t penalise it.
“The amendments introduced punishments against the offence, which is a first for the UAE,” he said.
He said article 41 of the law complements the previous article in order to boost online safety and better protect people from falling victim to financial crimes.
“It imposes a penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine between Dh250,000 and Dh1 million against those who promote electronic currencies or fake companies to raise money…