What are the punishments for Forging Documents to Apply for a Bank Loan?

criminal law

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November 16, 2021

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What constitutes forgery:

'Forgery' refers to the action of forging or producing a copy of a document, signature, banknote, or work of art etc. An act of forgery can lead to charges of fraud and or misrepresentation in the UAE. Article 216 of the Federal Law number Federal Law No. 3 of its 1987 concerning the penal code ("UAE Penal Code") defines as 'The forgery of a written instrument is to alter its reality in one of the manners described hereinbelow, so as to cause prejudice, with the intention of substituting the false for the genuine instrument."

The seven methods stated to be considered as committing the crime of forgery are as follows:

  1. "To alter a genuine instrument, whether by adding, or removing or changing any of its written parts, numbers, marks or pictures.
  2. To falsely sign or place a forged seal or to alter a genuine signature, seal or imprint.
  3. To obtain by surprise or by fraud the signature, seal or imprint of a person who ignores the contents of the instrument or who has not validly given his consent thereon.
  4. To make falsely or imitate an instrument and attribute it to another person.
  5. To fill a blank paper which is signed, sealed or imprinted, without the approval of the person who has signed, sealed or imprinted it.
  6. To assume the name of another person or to substitute it in a document that has been prepared specifically to prove the identity of such other person.
  7. A material alteration of writing with a deceitful and fraudulent intent, preventing, therefore, the genuine intent of the instrument from being achieved."

Forgery while applying for a Bank Loan:

In a recent judgment, the Court of Appeal in the UAE imposed imprisonment of two years along with deportation for a person accused of forging documents submitted to a UAE bank. The court held that the accused had forged documents in order to obtain a loan of Aed 100,000 from the Bank. The accused had forged his salary certificate issued from the employer in order to show a higher salary and accordingly also submitted forged bank statements while applying for the loan. Further to the discovery of fraud, the concerned Bank rejected the loan application. The court proceeded with the steps to confiscate the forged documents, and along with arresting the defendant, the police also seized a number of machines that were used by the defendant to forge the said documents.

The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charges; however, upon receiving the verdict from the appeal court, the defendant did not appeal further to the court of cassation. Hence, the appeal court's verdict to impose two year's jail terms and also deportation order has become final.

In a crime of forgery, the intention to commit forgery or to deceive is given critical value while degerming the crime. Further, for the onus of proof to establish the crime of forgery is always on the claimant as opposed to the defendant when the defendant denies the charges.


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