PASSPORT BAIL GUARANTORS BLACKMAILING bailed persons for more funds raises a UAE procedural issue in need of solution.... A network of trusted guarantors and changes to procedural rules.
Sometimes when the court sets bail, it will require not only the accused's passport but additionally, the passport of a guarantor with a valid residency visa who does not need their passport to function in day to day life (rare in the UAE). This requirement regularly proves impossible for expats to meet as most will not have close connections with such a small percentage of the UAE population. This leaves them with one option and that is to pay a guarantor to surrender his passport for the duration of proceedings.
Of course, anyone who is willing to surrender their passport as guarantor will want some sort of compensation and they will agree a price up front. Soon after though, knowing the precarious position the accused is in, they will demand more money under the threat of withdrawing their passport, thus eliminating the freedom of the accused. Anyone who is threatened with the loss of freedom is in a terrible negotiating position and the guarantor knows it.
The requirement to have a bail sponsor is flawed from the beginning. The sponsor does not monitor the accused or control him. It offers no more protection from absconding and really needs to be withdrawn as a possibility entirely. It seems it is simply an additional income stream for many Emiratis and perhaps that is the theory behind the practice, extracting more money from those who are already suffering the stress and costs of legal proceedings. People who are able to surrender their passports are often from more remote areas where they don't need a passport to function in their day to day lives and are unlikely to travel and acting as bail guarantor can amount to more than double their usual annual income.
Until the UAE update their bail requirements, we are establishing a network of trusted guarantors who will be used on a repeated basis if they agree and abide by the contractual terms. Having a network of trusted guarantors would also offer protection to expats. If one guarantor breached the terms, at least we would have another ready to take his place. This will hopefully offer an element of safety to those who are unfortunate enough to require a guarantor.