Extortion is a criminal act involving coercion and threats to extract money or favors, and has been a longstanding issue in the UAE, impacting both locals and expatriates. In the UAE, it can take various forms, from traditional to modern schemes. One frequent method involves exploiting compromising information, such as personal or financial data, to force victims into submission. This could be carried out through cybercrime or hacking activities. Moreover, some extortionists resort to physical threats or violence to intimidate their targets, especially in cases involving businesses or high-stakes financial transactions.
Several factors contribute to the prevalence of extortion in the UAE:
1. Economic Disparities: The UAE’s economy heavily relies on foreign workers, who often face economic hardships and job insecurity. These disparities make them vulnerable targets for extortionists seeking to exploit their desperation.
2. Cultural Stigma: In some cases, victims may refrain from reporting extortion due to the social stigma associated with such crimes in conservative societies, fearing damage to their reputation or the honor of their families.
3. Complexity of Business Laws: The intricate legal system, particularly in commercial matters, can be misused by dishonest individuals to coerce businesses into unfair agreements under the threat of legal action.
4.Anonymous Transactions: The prevalence of anonymous financial transactions and cryptocurrency exchanges provides an avenue for criminals to demand ransom without leaving traces.