The Crime of Kidnapping
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Kidnapping | UAE Penal Code Crimes

The Crime of Kidnapping and Its Punishment According to UAE Penal Code

The Crime of Kidnapping and Its Punishment According to UAE Penal Code Lawyer Dubai Abu Dhabi Lawyer Drug Crime Drug Case WhatsApp: +971555570005
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The Crime of Kidnapping and Its Punishment According to UAE Penal Code Lawyer Dubai Abu Dhabi Lawyer Drug Crime Drug Case WhatsApp: +971555570005

The Crime of Kidnapping and Its Punishment
According to UAE Penal Code

It is unlike the traffic crimes which happen every day. However, occurrence of one kidnapping crime is enough after long period of quietness, security and stability to frighten a whole society.
A person held in a place he does not know, and a telephone call by the kidnapper for relatives of the kidnapped person. A scenario like a nightmare planned by the kidnapper carefully to take the victim out of his environment by force and under threat, and family of the victim do not know how to reach them.
These organized and professional crimes are met by the legislators with serious laws that make any criminal expels the idea of kidnapping another person away from his mind. However, we still notice cases of kidnapping at all societies even advanced ones, therefore the law criminalizes it. Article 344 of UAE Penal Code states that:
He shall be sentenced to imprisonment, whoever illegally kidnaps, arrests, detains or deprives from freedom, a person by any means whatsoever and whether by himself or through the intermediary of others.
Thus, the temporary imprisonment is the punishment of every person deprives a human being of his liberty, whether by kidnapping, arresting or detaining. The act is the same whether the criminal himself kidnaps a person or assigns another person for that. It is clear that the provision determines punishment of kidnapping in its simplest cases, in addition to detaining a person without any other intentions, but the legislator aggravates the punishment to be life imprisonment in specific cases:
1- If the act takes place by impersonating a public capacity, pretending the performance or assignment of a public service or to contact under a false representation.
The kidnapper may resort to impersonating capacity of an officer assigned to arrest the criminal and uses this impersonated capacity in arresting another person, detaining him and deprives him from his liberty.
2- In case the act is performed by use of subterfuge or accompanied by use of force, threat of killing, inflicting severe body harm or by acts of physical or psychological torture.
It is the trick to lure the person planned for kidnapping, as someone agrees with another to sell a house and he accompanies him and there they kidnap him. It is also the case of using force for implementing the kidnapping or threatening with torture or physical and moral abuse.
3- If the act is perpetrated by two or more persons or by an armed person.
Here, when the act of kidnapping is carried out by two or more people, we are talking about a gang that practices organized crime. In this case, aggravating the punishment makes sense. This applies to those who use a weapon in kidnapping.
4- If the period of kidnapping, arresting, detaining or depriving from freedom exceeds one month.
Kidnapping and detaining the kidnapped person for more than one month reflects determination of the kidnapper to carry out this act and to continue in doing it. On the other hand, the long period of detaining by the kidnapper is certainly accompanied by great pain for the victim’s relatives.
5- In case the victim is of female sex, a juvenile, an insane or imbecile person.
In this case, the criminal exploits weakness of the female victim or unconsciousness and unawareness of the insane or imbecile person. Therefore, it is the state of exploiting weakness of the victim who is not protected except by law and whoever defends them. Accordingly, law aggravates punishment of the criminal who executes kidnapping in this case.
6- In case the purpose of the act is to draw profit, revenge, rape of the victim, disgrace him, injure him or have him perpetrate a crime.
It is a set of purposes defined by this term, which the legislator considers as an aggravating circumstance. These purposes are:
• Profit: that kidnapping may be performed with purpose of trafficking in human beings or human organs.
• Revenge: kidnapping a person to revenge on him or his family clearly shows the criminal’s disregard for law as a tool of protection for people, their lives, freedom and livings.
• Rape or abuse: another crime is rape or an attempt to rape, to be added to the basic crime of kidnapping.
• Harming the victim: such as kidnapping a pregnant woman with the aim of aborting her pregnancy or harming her.
• Impelling the kidnapped person to commit a crime: such as using the victim in a murder or possession of drugs.
7- If the act is perpetrated against a public servant during, or because of, executing of his duties.
When the victim is a public servant and the offender carries out the kidnapping during the public servant performance of his job, this affects the prestige of the State, and therefore this case is included as an aggravating circumstance.
So, the legislator has mentioned the cases of aggravating penalty of the kidnapping crime to life imprisonment. In addition, if the kidnapping has led to death of the victim, the penalty will be life imprisonment or execution, as the provision states:
Should the act lead to the death of the victim, the sanction shall be the death penalty or life imprisonment.
On the other side, the legislator considers intermediation in the kidnapping as a crime with the same penalty of kidnapping, as it states:
He shall be sanctioned to the same penalty prescribed for the principal perpetrator, any of the intermediaries in the perpetration of any of the crimes provided for in this Article (as well as whoever knowingly hides a kidnapped person.
However, as the legislator cares for the human safety and his freedom, it considers that the first and basic requirement which law aims to achieve after occurrence of kidnapping is to set the kidnapped person free, to restore his freedom and to return him to his family without harm. Therefore and based on this principle, the legislator resorts to encourage the kidnapper by exempting him from punishment if he willingly informs the authorities about the place of the kidnapped person and informs them about his partners in the crime, and the result is to rescue the kidnapped person, Article 345 states that:
He shall be exempted from the penalty for the crimes prescribed in the preceding article, the person who willfully indicates to the judicial or administrative authorities, prior to its detection of the place of the kidnapped person, the whereabouts of this latter and reveals the identity of the other offenders thus resulting in the rescue of the kidnapped.
In conclusion, it becomes clear to us how the legislator criminalizes kidnapping of a human being and his freedom. It determines three levels for punishment escalates from temporary imprisonment to life imprisonment and even to the capital punishment according to circumstances of the kidnapping and the results of this crime. On the other hand, the legislator lefts the door open for any criminal wants to repent and return to his senses as it exempts him from punishment if he cooperates with the authorities and contributes in setting the kidnapped person free.



Attorney / Mohamed Al Marzooqi
Mohamed Al Marzooqi Advocates & Consultancy
Lawyer in Abu Dhabi, Dubai – UAE

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