ABU DHABI: Police officials revealed at a recent townhall meeting that Filipinos commit the least number of crimes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), indicating their utmost respect for the laws of the host country.
“Filipinos commit the least (number of) crimes here in the UAE,” said Lt. Col. Bader Al Neyadi without going through the numbers and nature of crimes, in consideration of the UAE’s multi-ethnic set-up to avoid stereotyping.
Meantime, amid rampant reports of criminal elements posing as cops, Lt. Col. Al Neyadi urged the public to demand a proper identification card when accosted by persons introducing themselves as police officers.
“Take your time to verify his ID. If you have any doubt, contact 999,” said Lt. Col. Al Neyadi, who has been in public service for the past 27 years.
Lt. Col. Al Neyadi was speaking at a recently held First Filipino Community Forum, a first-of-its-kind dialogue between Abu Dhabi Police and the Philippine Embassy and was attended by over 100 community leaders.
At the meeting, which was held at the Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters supported by the Philippine Embassy and spearheaded by the Bayanihan Council, Abu Dhabi Police also responded to a series of questions from the Filipino community.
Among the questions raised was about individuals in civilian clothes approaching persons and telling them about a crime committed.
Authorities confirmed that operatives of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) are usually dressed in civilian clothes to blend in with the crowd as a standard practice across the world.
They furthered that if someone claims to be from the CID, the individual being questioned has the right to check and verify if the person who approached her/him is indeed from the CID.
Real CID officials will not hesitate to show and verify that they are from the department and will only approach individuals who violated a law, it was gathered at the public forum.
The clarification came in the midst of various reports about fake policemen victimizing civilians.
A few weeks back, a Gulf man claiming to be a policeman stopped an Asian worker near an industrial zone in Dubai, produced a fake police card and asked him to get in his car.
Scared, the Asian quietly got in the car but instead of taking him to the station, the presumed cop drove to an isolated area late night and robbed the victim of nearly Dh3,000 and four phone top-up cards.
Police swiftly arrested the fake cop acting on descriptions given by the victim and a supermarket worker who saw the Asian led out of the shop by the Gulf man.
Just last month, Emarat Al Youm daily reported that two Arabs posing as policemen beat and robbed Dh1.8 million from an Asian expatriate at an apartment in Dubai.
“The three are on trial on charges of helping steal Dh1.8 million… Police are still searching for their friend who is still at large,” Emarat Al Youm daily said.
It will also be recalled that back in August this year, Sharjah Police said at least 20 reports involving fake policemen were recorded in the emirate during the last six months.
Recently, fake cops have reportedly been targeting workers and threatening them of deportation if they will not follow their orders.
Fake police officers have also been involved in scamming, stealing and raping cases in Sharjah.
These fraud men in uniform also eyes illegal immigrants by extorting money in order to give them residency or legal status in the country.
Some of these men even forced women to engage into sexual acts or even prostitution.
Police said most incidents took place in industrial areas and happened late at night. Fake cops have forged identification cards to show to their target victims, officials said.
Meantime, it was also reiterated during the Abu Dhabi public forum that expats have the right to keep their important documents and not hand them over to employers.
Federal Law No. 9 of 2006 specifically stipulates that the owner of the Emirates ID should have the said card with her/him at all times.
“As per the executive regulations of the Federal Law No. 9 of 2006 relating to the population register and the ID card, a cardholder should carry their cards at all times and present it whenever requested according to law. Companies are not allowed to withhold the Emirates ID cards of their employees or their customers and visitors. In case of violation, cardholders should refer the case to the judicial authorities.”
Individuals working in the UAE also have the right to keep their passports with them and not with their employers.
For salaries, the official website of the UAE government states that the employer is considered to be ‘late’ for salary payments if the salary is delayed for more than 10 days and is considered ‘refusing to pay wages’ if the employee is unpaid for more than one month.
Individuals can contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) or file a complaint online through eNetwasal.
Lt. Col. Al Neyadi shared that individuals can use the “We Are All Police” app for such incidents as well.
“What we need for this program is just information – who did it, what was the crime, and where it happened. Anything you know, just contact us,” shares Al Neyadi.
Meanwhile. the public was also advised to immediately report incidents of abandoned children as soon as possible so that authorities can take proper action. The person reporting will not be charged, officials said. It would help a lot if the person knows the child’s parents and inform the police about it.