Etihad Airways flight attendant faces jail time over $ 100,000 cryptocurrency loan default
Former Etihad Airways cabin crew member who recently lost his job in a wave of layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic says he is at risk of being sent to jail because he can no longer stand. allow repayments of a $ 100,000 loan used to invest in Bitcoin at the height of the cryptocurrency craze. The 34-year-old French national said he would have to repay $ 2,230 each month until the end of 2021 to clear the 338,000 dirham loan.
Unlike many countries, defaulting on debt is a criminal offense in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where debtors can be jailed for up to three years. British charity Detained in Dubai (which assists in criminal cases across the United Arab Emirates) said it has witnessed an increase in what it describes as “aggressive” tactics on the part of banks, especially banks. lawsuits.
In the past, expatriate residents had fled to their home countries to renegotiate debt in relative safety, but Radha Stirling, managing director of Detained in Dubai, said there had been an “increase in the number of threats of Interpol “for expatriate debtors returning home to avoid unpaid loans.
“Using Interpol to detain and extradite debtors to the UAE is not legal, but UAE banks know that most victims don’t know how to fight the Red Notice or avoid it altogether,” says it. “In fact, the first time many former expats find out about Red Notices is when they are detained at an airport.”
For the anonymous Etihad flight attendant, the history started in late 2017 when he took out the huge loan with Emirates Islamic Bank to make his very first investment in Bitcoin. At the time, the cryptocurrency was at an all time high, but in less than a year it claims to have lost 85% of its initial investment.
He and his wife have lost their jobs at Etihad Airways and she cannot afford to pay off untied debt.
Last year, it emerged that hundreds of Emirates cabin crews had potentially lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in a Ponzi-type investment scam. Investors were promised returns of between 5-20% when they opened an account with a deposit of at least $ 10,000 – some victims invested more than $ 100,000 in the scam but lost everything.
Etihad Airways has cut hundreds of cabin crews as it navigates the Corona Crisis. Many of the dismissed cabin crew received little notice of what was to come.
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