DUBAI, Dec 29 (Reuters) – Dubai’s ruler announced a new law to combat corruption, with the power to impose prison terms of up to 20 years on offenders as the emirate tightens financial rules in the wake of a debt crisis.
The law “comes in line with Dubai’s ongoing efforts to eradicate all forms of fraud,” according to a statement from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s office on Tuesday.
It is the latest in several measures taken by the government in the wake of a debt bombshell on Nov. 25 when the Gulf Arab business hub said it wanted to delay repayment of $26 billion owed by its flagship company, Dubai World.
Dubai, one of seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates, has been on an anti-corruption drive since 2008 after a series of high-profile fraud cases involving top-level officials at listed firms, including Islamic lender Tamweel and Dubai Islamic Bank.
The decree will aim to protect Dubai’s “economic interests and preserve financial rights of individuals,” the decree said.