UAE police arrest man in $545,000 bitcoin fraud case

Police authorities have urged citizens to refrain from dealing in activities related to digital currency. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 February 2018
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UAE police arrest man in $545,000 bitcoin fraud case

DUBAI: UAE police have arrested a Pakistani man who conned an Indian national of $545,000 in a fraudulent bitcoin transaction, Gulf daily Khaleej Times reported.
Police said that the victim had struck a deal with the suspect to buy cryptocurrency by meeting at a mall in Sharjah emirate.
After the two met at a coffee shop, the suspect took the Indian’s bank details and claimed that the bitcoin was already being transferred to the victim’s account.
The suspect then said that his wife needed him for an emergency in the parking lot and left the victim waiting. The conman’s mobile phone has been switched off when the victim tried to reach him again, after which he went to the police to report the incident.
Authorities then zeroed in on the suspect and recovered the money, which was transferred back to the rightful owner.
Police authorities have urged citizens to refrain from dealing in activities related to digital currency, as there is no official regulation yet in place in the UAE covering these transactions.


Jordan pushes new IMF-backed tax bill to parliament

Updated 15 min 33 sec ago
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Jordan pushes new IMF-backed tax bill to parliament

AMMAN: Jordan’s cabinet on Tuesday sent to parliament an IMF-backed draft tax bill, a main plank of austerity measures to ease rising public debt, an issue that caused street protests last summer, officials said.
The government hopes to push through the new legislation within two months despite opposition from many deputies, saying the law promotes social justice by targeting high earners and combats long-time corporate tax evaders.
Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz, a former World Bank economist, was appointed by the monarch last June after his predecessor was sacked in a move to defuse a crisis that saw some of the largest protests in years over tax hikes.
Razzaz withdrew from parliament a tax law that had been put forward by the previous government and said he would hold “broad consultations with civic bodies over a new tax system that will not trample on citizens’ rights.”
Earlier this year, a general sales tax was raised and a subsidy on bread was scrapped as part of the IMF’s three-year fiscal plan that aims to cut the spiralling $37 billion debt, equivalent to 95 percent of gross domestic product.
Unions and civic associations behind last June’s protests have rejected the new modified tax bill saying it should not have been drafted but have so far stopped short of calling for street protests. They want the government to give priority to fighting corruption and cutting public waste.
The government says the new law softens the impact of the tax hikes on middle class families by raising personal income thresholds and reintroducing personal exemptions.
Razzaz has promised to restore public trust in a country where many blame successive governments for failing to deliver on pledges of reviving growth and curbing corruption.
Razzaz has warned that parliament’s rejection of the bill would risk hurting the debt-laden economy, where annual growth has been stagnant at around 2 percent in recent years.
Any delay would push even higher the cost of servicing over 1 billion dinars ($1.4 billion) of foreign debt due in 2019, raising the prospect of rating agencies downgrading the kingdom’s credit ratings, Razzaz said in a recent interview with state television.
“If we don’t come with a tax law we will face these dangers. It will cost us dearly,” Razzaz said last week.
He said the tax bill would bring an extra 300 million dinars in revenue for the budget and avoid worsening a chronic 1.7 billion dinar budget shortfall. (Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Janet Lawrence)