Gamblers can be jailed and fined

K.k. Sarachandra Bose (Legal View)
Filed on June 20, 2011

Some of my friends were nabbed while gambling in an apartment. They were held in police custody along with the landlord who had no relations with them. I would like to know if they would be brought to court or not? Will they be fined, sent to jail or deported?

Gambling is illegal in the UAE. As per Article 414 of the UAE Penal Code, ‘whoever gambles shall be punished by detention for a maximum period of two years or by a fine not exceeding Dh20,000. A penalty of detention or a fine shall be inflicted if the crime occurs in a public place, a place open to the public, or in a place or house prepared for gambling’.

As per Article 415 of the same law, ‘punishment by imprisonment for a maximum period of 10 years shall be inflicted up on any one who opens or runs a place for gambling and prepares such a place for admission of people, as well as any one who organises any game of gambling in a public place or in any place or house prepared for such a purpose’.

And as per Article 121 of the same law, ‘if a foreigner has been sentenced to a custodial penalty in a felony or misdemeanour, the court may call in its judgement for the deportation of the convicted foreigner from the state. Deportation orders shall also apply to felonies perpetrated on the honour. The court may, in cases of misdemeanours, order the commutation of a custodial penalty stated for a misdemeanour to deportation’.

Therefore, the gamblers and the landlord can be produced to the court, fined/sentenced and may also be deported.

Dud cheque

A workmate of mine introduced me to a vehicle dealer to whom I sold my car for Dh85,000. I took Dh10,000 in cash and a post-dated cheque for Dh75,000. But the cheque later proved to be dud. On enquiry, the dealer told me that he was suffering a financial crisis and promised to pay the money in a month. I later came to know that my co-worker did collect a commission on the deal. He was also fully aware that the merchant’s cheque would be dishonoured.

Am I entitled to charge the dealer and my colleague with fraud and racketeering? How am I supposed to get my money back?

If you are able to prove collusion of your colleague with the car dealer, you may file a criminal complaint against your colleague and the car dealer.

Refund of advance

I had booked a property in Silicon Oasis in 2008. On booking, I paid five per cent of the total amount. The balance amount was to be paid during construction. The payment terms were 30 per cent during construction and 70 per cent upon hand over. However, due to the recession, the price of the property which I bought for Dh1,400 per sqft came down to Dh350 and 400 per sqft.

Hence, I stopped my payment and asked the company to reduce the price but the developer refused and asked me to make the payment. After several meetings, they revised the payment by offering a 10 per cent discount. But I did not agree to that.

Now, it is almost three years and they have not started construction yet. I called them several times for a refund but they said construction would start soon. They even told me that the five per cent which I have paid is non-refundable.

As per the agreement, it was mentioned that five per cent amount is non-refundable if I failed to make payment, but in my case, even construction has not started. I have lost around Dh32,000. How may I get my money back?

The terms of the contract entered into between you and the developer are not very clear. Therefore you may consult your lawyer and seek opinion.

K.K. Sarachandra Bose is a Partner/ Corporate, Commercial and Contract Lawyer at Dar Al Adalah Advocates and Legal Consultants. Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, Dubai P.O. Box 11243.

Compiled by Ahmed Shaaban

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