Tough new laws to curb crime
The government will fine and jail a person for 20 years for unlawfully releasing confidential information and classified documents.
This is part of new regulations concerning offenses related to cybercrime, financial fraud, prostitution, extortion, blackmail and assaulting one’s parents and grandparents.
The Control and Investigation Board (CIB) has notified all its branches of the new regulations that came into force recently.
In its memorandum, the CIB states that the police would arrest people who extort money or attempt to gain in any other way from other people by threatening to disclose their personal information, including publishing photographs.
The government would also jail and fine those perpetrating various forms of check fraud.
This includes writing out a check without any or insufficient funds in the bank, withdrawing the amount of money after writing out a check, canceling it before the funds can be paid, or altering one’s signature on it so that it cannot be cashed.
The charges against a person involved in check fraud can be dropped if he or she pays the owed amount in full, a settlement is agreed upon between the two parties, or if the victim withdraws the claim.
The charges would be dropped if the aggrieved party files a lawsuit seven months after a check was written out in the country or nine months outside the country.
The law states that the penalties would be the same for embezzling money from individuals or companies, and defrauding a person in person or through electronic means.
This would also be the case for a person intentionally destroying private or public property over the value of SR5,000, unless the guilty party pays for the damage in full.
The police would arrest those assaulting their parents or grandparents, unless the victims appeal for a concession.
The same penalties would apply if a perpetrator enters another person’s house by force, with the aim of either attacking or stealing from the victim. The property owner can have the perpetrator released by dropping the charges.
The memorandum also lists other offenses including stealing cars, or selling part of a stolen car; facilitating prostitution; and selling, smuggling or distributing liquor.
The police would also arrest those who assault public servants on duty, and damage their official vehicles or equipment including their weapons and communication devices.
This refers mainly to the country’s security and police officers.
The penalties cover people who use weapons to assault or threaten others.
The Ministry of Interior is currently conducting an extensive campaign to raise awareness on the penalties involved in unlawfully releasing confidential documents and information.