Dubai authorities will no longer confiscate passports of those accused of minor crimes

Electronic bail system will ensure document remains with resident or visitor

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Dubai's judicial authority will no longer confiscate the passports of residents or visitors accused of minor crimes, instead listing them in an electronic system until their case is dealt with.

The Smart Bail service is applicable for misdemeanors and some financial cases.

The move was announced by Dubai Public Prosecution on Tuesday.

It will not necessarily mean that the accused can leave the country, as the existence of their case will be listed with the port and airport police.

Dubai Attorney General Essam Al Humaidan said the new initiative is being trialled at Jebel Ali Police Station and will be extended to all police stations in Dubai in the coming months.

The Smart Bail system is being implemented through a collaboration between Dubai Public Prosecution and Dubai Police. People charged with minor offences covered under this system will no longer be asked to hand over their passports but will not be allowed to leave the UAE until the completion of their trial or the resolution of their case. After obtaining Smart Bail, the concerned people will be released from police stations.

The Smart Bail system complements the Penal Order system that the Dubai Public Prosecution launched last November. The Penal Order system authorises the Public Prosecution to issue verdicts on misdemeanors and minor offences instead of referring them to the courts, which speeds up judicial procedures and improves the efficiency of the judicial system.