A flight attendant from the United Arab Emirates could go to jail for not being able to pay back a loan of more than USD 100,000 to buy crypts
A former flight attendant for Etihad Airlines says he faces up to three years in jail in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for failing to pay the fees on a $100,000 loan he took out to invest in cryptomoney in the days of the historic peak.
Crypthomie, the Reddit user identified only as a 34-year-old man who is not a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, posted a picture on Bitcoin’s subreddit on June 9 of his payment plan for a 338,000 dirham (approximately $109,000 at the time) loan with the Emirates Islamic Bank.
According to Crypthomie, it has lost its job with Etihad due to the pandemic and can no longer afford to pay the required monthly fees of about 2,230 dollars. However, he is required to return 393,296.80 dirhams – about $127,000 at the time – to the bank by the end of 2021.
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Investment after the maximum
Crypthomie’s story went semi viral in the crypto community in August 2018, after publishing the same image of the bank payment schedule and revealing its history of pain.
The aviation employee took out the loan on December 18, 2017, the same day that the price of Bitcoin (BTC) reached an all-time high of nearly $20,000.
After less than a year, he reported a loss of 85% of his digital investments. The redditor said it had bought Neo (NEO), Stellar (XLM), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH) and „some shitcoins that lost 95 percent of their value.
„It was my first speculative investment. I think this is a time when we are still unconscious and taking a lot of risk if we don’t have big responsibilities, like a child or bills to pay.
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Facing prison abroad
Unlike many other countries, the United Arab Emirates treats debt as a criminal rather than a civil matter. If someone cannot make the required monthly payments, he or she can be sentenced to a maximum of three years in prison and possibly longer if the loan remains unpaid.
„We will be sent to jail in a few months,“ he said, referring to his former partner who has an unrelated debt, „and [the worst part] is that we won’t be able to communicate.
Many countries prohibit the imprisonment of debtors, but authorities sometimes find ways to do so. In the United States, failure to pay fines for civil offenses such as pedestrian crossing and other traffic violations can often result in imprisonment. The same reason contributes to the high rates of incarceration of indigenous people in Australia.