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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

American stands trial for usury in Dubai

The man is accused of lending money at unreasonably high interest rates

An American man is accused of usury – lending money at unreasonably high interest rates - at Dubai Criminal Court.

Prosecutors said the man would lend people money on the condition that the borrowers pay an unjustified increment in cash.

The man denied the charge in court on Monday, telling the judge he only worked in gold.

A Filipino woman told prosecutors she visited the man for a loan at his gold shop in Naif where he offered to lend her Dh1,000 on the condition that she leave her jewellery behind as insurance.

“He told me I will have to pay Dh100 extra for every month I was late in repaying the loan’s amount,” the 32-year-old said.

Another woman, 43, said she was told to pay a late fee of Dh300 per month after borrowing Dh1,800 from the American.

“I handed him my gold and we agreed on the loan condition that I pay the extra amount,” she said.

Police received a tip-off about the man’s activities and arrested him on March 9 this year.

Prosecutors said the man admitted to usury during questioning but denied the charge in court.

The next hearing will be on July 24.