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Illustrative image. Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: The UAE has imposed strict penalties on online or electronic blackmail, with fines and jail terms for offenders, the UAE Public Prosecution said.

The penalties are detailed in Article 42 of the Federal Decree law No 34 of 2021 for Combatting Electronic Crimes and Rumours, the authority said in a social media alert on Friday.

Minimum fine

A minimum fine of Dh250,000 will be imposed on offenders, with the offender also facing a possible jail term in many cases. “Whoever blackmails or threatens another person to urge him/her to do, or refrain from doing, an act using a data network or a means of information technology shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a duration not exceeding two years and/or fined a monetary penalty of not less than Dh250,000, and not more than Dh500,000,” Public Prosecution said in a statement.

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Increased penalties

The penalties will be increased under aggravating circumstances.

“The penalty shall be temporary imprisonment for a duration of not more than ten years if the threat is to commit a crime, or attribute matters in prejudice of honour or status, being accompanied with an explicit or an implicit demand to do, or refrain from doing, an act,” Public Prosecution explained.