- Legal Articles
- Ask Elhais
September 08, 2021|
In this article, we will examine the primary difference between the crimes of ‘extortion’ and ‘blackmail’. Often these crimes are easily confused together. We will also discuss the definition of the said crimes under UAE law and the relevant legal provisions relating to them.
‘Extortion’ can be defined as a ‘theft crime’. It involves the use of coercion of some form, either a physical force or a threat of some other type to the person or property, in order to obtain from the victim any money, property, other valuables or services.
‘Blackmail’ is also very similar to extortion. However, this crime does not include the factors of threat to the victim’s person or property; and instead, the threat is of different nature, such as threatening to disclose embarrassing information about someone that may potentially damage their reputation or affect their personal relations. The important factor considering blackmail is that the threat in itself does not need to be illegal or even true in order for it to be considered as blackmail. The objective of such an act is to obtain from the victim, money or other favors by imposing such a threat.
Extortion under the UAE laws is governed pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 promulgating the penal code and its amendments (‘UAE penal code’). Pursuant to articles 397 and 398 of the UAE penal code, the crime of extortion is said to occur when a person uses force or threat to compel another person to deliver money or other valuables or to sign any document etc.
When considering blackmail, pursuant to the provisions of the UAE penal code, Article 398 states that if the threat caused to a person concerns divulging or attributing any immoral act to them, then such crimes would be considered as an aggravating circumstance and thus a higher penalty will be imposed.
Cyber extortion and blackmailing:
Pursuant to the Federal decree-law no. 5 of 2012 on ‘combating cybercrimes’ and its amendments, an act of extortion or blackmail constitutes a punishable offense under the said law, if such act is committed using a computer network or information technology means to extort or threaten another person (Article 16). The punishment can include imprisonment of up to two years and fines ranging from Dirhams 250,000 to 500,000. Deportation may also be imposed if the crime is committed by a foreigner.
Article 16: Shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of two years at most and a fine, not less than two hundred fifty-thousand dirhams and not in excess of five hundred thousand dirhams or either of these two penalties whoever uses a computer network or information technology means to extort or threaten another person to force him to engage in or prevent him from engaging in a certain act. The punishment shall be imprisonment up to ten years if the subject of threat is to commit a felony or engage in matters against honour or morals.
Copyright © of this article is retained by the author and/or other copyright owners. We explicitly grant you permission to download a copy, without any alteration, of this article for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or any charge. This article can be utilized on your website or for marketing, however, we grant you permission to host this article on your website and no other rights. This content should not be altered in any way or sold commercially in any format without prior permission of the copyright holder. During reference of this article, full biographic details entailing the name of the author, his designation, the institute and the publishing date of the article shall be provided.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
I owe the success of my case to Dr. Hassan's diligent approach. He remained focused, put me at ease and always went the extra mile. Dr. Hassan tirelessly put my case in the best possible light and I cannot thank him enough. I would highly recommend Dr. Hassan - I am grateful to him from the bottom of my heart.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is among the best legal consultants I have ever worked with. He has an amazing ability to reduce complex issues into a simple concept that non-legal people can understand. He consistently develops innovative litigation strategies that help us to achieve our ultimate legal goals.
...the extraordinary effort that has been exerted by the staff, and we specially thank Dr. Hassan Mohsen Alhais. Wishing your continues success & excellence...
I believe everyone should recognize what a difference Dr. Hassan Elhais work has made to people's lives; and especially to our family's life, because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one of his team.
Dr. Hassan Elhais never fears cases that involve exposure and he always gives me his honest assessment of our chances of success, which is invaluable to me.
He aided us not only in providing legal advice but also in all legal issues that required a long term strategic approach to achieve most favorable and optimum outcomes he provided us with high level of professional service.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is a responsible, reputable counsel who operates to high levels of service.
Dr Hassan Elhais is responsive, thorough and creative with his advice, and is a valued advisor and legal consultant.
Regardless of the complexity of the matter I know Dr. Hassan Elhais will consider not only legal strategy but also business practicalities in providing advice and litigation options.
I recommend Dr. Hassan Elhais to anyone who says 'I'm in legal trouble'. I was extremely satisfied with the high standard of his work. He has always been there when I have needed him and I refer all my clients, family and friends to him/his firm.
Dr. Hassan Elhais was very professional and he listened to my needs. He was very prompt, efficient and always kept me informed. Dr. Hassan Elhais's service was excellent and I would definitely recommend him to friends and colleagues.