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Man detained in Dubai for "making too much money."


A Malaysian national has been held in the UAE without charge for over half a year, for no other reason than being paid for his work.

Richard Lau was arrested last April, along with several others, based on accusations from an Emirati businessman that Richard’s salary and commissions constitute embezzlement from his company. Although there is no evidence of wrongdoing, Richard’s detention continues to be extended every two weeks as the Public Prosecutor requests more time to investigate. Every other accused party has been released, while Richard remains in jail.

The Emirati Walid Jumaa Abu Shabas, accused eight people, including his partners, of stealing funds from the Ras Al Khaimah subsidiary of the Malaysian marine transport company Shin Yang, pointing to the money paid by Shin Yang into the accounts of Richard and the other accused persons. The money, which was not paid secretly, was in fact their wages. Remuneration for their work for companies set up by the Malaysian owners of Shin Yang.

Richard was instructed by Shin Yang executive director Kenny Ling, to carry out work for these affiliated companies and to be paid salary for this work. It appears that Abu Shabas was unaware of this agreement and has misconstrued Lau’s earned salary as embezzlement. Richard has done nothing wrong except get paid for his work.

Richard's father says in a statement, "these few months have been an absolute nightmare for us; we feel threatened and unsure about our son's safety and future. I don't understand how the UAE can just arrest my son without a warrant based on a mere complaint by a local and then detain him for months without a charge, while they take their time with investigations. Some days I cannot believe that this is really happening; that this sort of practice can still exist in today's world in a country that is so modern and advanced in other ways."

In Ras Al Kha