Question: I have a cheque that was bounced due to the account being closed, according to the bank. I cannot contact the owner of the cheque and I do not know his address. My question: What is the appropriate procedure to take against the owner of the cheque so that he does not leave the country, and how can I obtain my right to get the cheque amount? Please advise.
Answer: I would advise the following:
Issuing a cheque while knowing that the account is closed is a criminal act punishable by the Federal Decree Law No. 50 of 2022, issuing the Commercial Transactions Law in its Article 675 which states that ”(1. Everyone who commits either of the following actions shall be sentenced to serve prison for a period of not less than (6) six months and not more than (2) two years and/or pay fine of not less than (10%) of the cheque value, of minimum (5,000) five thousand Dirhams, and shall not exceed the double of value of the cheque:
"a. Instructs or requests the drawee, before the drawing date, to dishonor a cheque issued thereby in other than the cases set out in Articles (651) and (656) hereof.
"b. Closes the account, withdraws the whole balance therein or knows of closing of the account before the issue of cheque, or before the presentment of cheque to the drawee for drawing, or intentionally causes the freezing thereof.
"c. Intentionally executes or signs the cheque in a way that prohibits honoring thereof. 2. In case of recidivism, the penalty shall be doubled.)”
Based on the above, you must file a criminal case against the drawer of the cheque where an arrest warrant will be applied to him. He would not be able to travel outside the country. After getting a criminal judgment against him, you must file a civil suitcase in front of the civil court to get your money.