Sharjah: A newly formed Sharjah Police financial crimes unit will seek to settle monetary disputes amicably before they land in the courts as part of routine police investigation, according to senior police officials.

Arbitrating matters between parties may help to significantly reduce the number of criminal cases filed for financial claims.

Sharjah Police said efforts to arbitrate financial cases in the third quarter of this year have already helped return Dh37.2 million to complainants without resorting to criminal proceedings.

All financial crimes investigations will now be unified into the single new unit based at the Buhairah police station.

The new unit was inaugurated by Sharjah Police Commander — in-Chief Brigadier Saif Mohammad Al Ziri Al Shamsi.

The Sharjah Police Department Financial Crimes Unit, he said, is responsible for the investigation of criminal offences involving all manner of criminal cases ranging from bounced cheque cases and car rentals gone awry to missed payments or contract disputes.

The unit will follow up each case from the beginning in coordination with the Attorney-General and the UAE Central Bank.

It will also handle follow-up cases of detainees who were jailed for financial issues in order to provide better police services to all community members.

“It is typical for a financial crimes investigative unit to employ experts in document examination and handwriting comparisons, as well as a team of detectives who are called upon to prioritise hundreds and often thousands of cases received each year, particularly among larger departments,” Brigadier Al Shamsi said.

Colonel Dr Khalifa Kalander, Acting Director of Comprehensive Police Stations, said ongoing financial arbitration efforts undertaken by Sharjah Police since 2011 have solved many disputes.

Colonel Kalander said the initiative contributed a great deal in solving financial disputes and provide a chance to defendants involved in bad cheque cases to pay off their debts directly at the police stations before referring the file to the public prosecution and the court.

“The files are being sent to the prosecution and the court only if the defendants have criminal records,” he said.

The initiative is aimed at protecting the complainants’ rights and ensuring that their money is restored to them.

“It also contributes to reducing loads of files to be referred to the Public Prosecution and courts, besides protecting the families whose breadwinners, like the father or mother, could have otherwise been locked up in jail.”