Crime in the United Arab Emirates
The crime rate in the United Arab Emirates is relatively low compared to more highly industrialized nations. Incidents of petty crime such as pickpocketing are low. The United States Department of State states: "Crime generally is not a problem for travelers in the UAE. However, the U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to take normal precautions against theft, such as not leaving a wallet, purse, or credit card unattended. Although vehicle break-ins in the UAE are rare, U.S. citizens are encouraged to ensure that unattended vehicles are locked and that valuables are not left out in plain sight".
The threat of a terrorist attack is a matter of concern. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Government of Australia advised travelers "to exercise a high degree of caution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of the high threat of terrorist attack". The DFAT claimed they received reports of a terrorist plan to attack Western interests in the nation. The Australian Government has since lowered the warning, telling travellers to now exercise normal safety precautions, as they would do in Australia.
Incidents of cybercrime are increasing. In 2002, there was a 300% rise in computer hacking within six months. According to experts, the United Arab Emirates is among the top ten countries which are most vulnerable to attack by hackers. White-collar crime includes embezzlement of funds, fraud and bribery.
The UAE is a drug transshipment country for traffickers due to its proximity to Southwest Asian drug producing nations. Drug trafficking is a major form of crime in the UAE, and the nation has a zero tolerance policy towards illegal drug use. Possession of the smallest amount of illegal drugs is punishable by a minimum of four years' imprisonment.
The UAE is vulnerable to money laundering due to its position as a major commercial driver in the region. The UAE leadership has taken several measures for combating organized crime. A law was enacted in January 2002 for the purpose of curbing money laundering. However, despite government efforts to combat money laundering, regulation of banking is still developing.
According to the Global Study on Homicide, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the homicide rate in the UAE in 2012 was 2.6 per 100,000. The average global homicide rate for that period was 6.3 per 100,000 population.
Human trafficking is a problem which involves involuntary servitude of young boys and women. In 2006, young boys were trafficked into the country for the purpose of being used as camel jockeys. There were many camel jockeys working in the UAE under inhumane conditions but these have now been replaced by robot jockeys.
Human trafficking cases in the UAE have been falling over the years. In the first half of 2014, three cases of human trafficking were received by the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) compared to 12 in the same period of 2013.
Women are trafficked into the country for sexual exploitation. Women from Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Morocco, India,the People's Republic of China, the Philippines, Iran and Pakistan are reportedly trafficked to the UAE. Porous borders and proximity to war-affected countries like Iraq increase the problem of human trafficking.
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- United Arab Emirates
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