VPN use punishable under law: Dubai Police and more...


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VPN use punishable under law: Dubai Police

Tampering with internet network is crime and against TRA’s policies

VPN services are used in the UAE by some private individuals to access VoIP services and access some of the blocked websites. (Shutterstock)

Use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) is illegal and can be punishable under the UAE law, a senior Dubai Police official reiterated.

While the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has always maintained that the use of VPN is against its policies, now the police have once again cautioned that legal action can be taken under Law Number 9 against users of VPN.

VPN services are used in the UAE by some private individuals to access VoIP services and access some of the blocked websites.

“Tampering with the Internet network is a crime,” said Saeed Al Hajri, Director at the Cyber Crime division of Dubai Police. He was responding to a question about how the police could trace offenders involved in online blackmailing and other Internet related crimes, if they do so by using a VPN service.

While suo moto action may not be initiated against anyone using a VPN service, additional charges can be filed against a person caught in an illegal act and when he or she is found to have used VPN as well.

Dubai Police said that, once a suspect is identified, he would be under constant monitoring, even if it means a three or four year old process. “We even dig up complaints that are three to four years old,” he said.

World’s lowest tax rates make UAE and Qatar go easy on your pocket

Total time it takes to pay taxes in UAE is a mere 12 hours a year

The UAE’s status as a tax heaven has been strengthened further as the country has the least demanding framework and the lowest average total tax and time to comply in the world, according to a global consultancy.

GCC peer Qatar shares the honour with the UAE, with the region continuing to remain as one with lowest taxes and easiest tax compliance regulations.

“The Middle East continues to have the least demanding tax framework, with the lowest average total tax rate and time to comply; Qatar and UAE share equal first place globally, with Saudi Arabia in third position,”  according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report titled “Paying Taxes 2015 Middle East.”

The 6-page report said it takes 12 hours and four payments in the UAE to file taxes with a total tax rate of 14. 8 per cent while in Qatar it takes 41 hours and four payments with total tax rate of 11.3 per cent. Saudi Arabia – with its third ranking – has total tax rate of 15.5 per cent, time of 64 hours and three payments.

There are no direct taxes on their personal income in the UAE and the officials have time and again refuted reports about any plans to impose personal income tax. Also, there are no capital gains tax, value-added tax, withholding tax or corporate tax.

However, foreign banks are taxed at 20 per cent of their taxable income while oil companies are also taxed on their income in addition to royalties. Municipal taxes are levied on annual rental paid at 5 per cent for residential premises and 10 per cent for commercial premises. Other local taxes include a 5 per cent tax on hotel services and entertainment.

UAE’s Ministry of Finance Undersecretary Younis Hajj Al Khoori recently said: “We are considering introducing corporate taxes. We have asked finance ministry officials to study the socio-economic effects of the tax.”

Khoori told Emarat Al Youm that the proposal is still in the study stage and that it has not been yet presented to the federal cabinet.

VAT – the most serious and efficient choice

In the Middle East, countries looking at enhancing their existing tax systems and explore alternative sources of revenue recognise value added tax (VAT) is one of the most serious and efficient choices for them. The GCC countries have been considering introducing VAT since 2007 to expand their revenue base.

In the Middle East, there is an average total tax rate of 24 per cent and it takes 160 hours to comply with its tax affairs with 16.8 payments, making the region the least demanding tax system for PricewaterhouseCoopers case study.

Nevertheless, the study said one of the key areas the Middle East region could consider improving is the use of electronic filing and payment mechanisms.

Only 15 per cent of economies in the region have implemented electronic systems for filing and payment of taxes for at least one type of tax that are used by the majority of companies.

Globally, the highest total tax rate is in South America at 55.4 per cent followed by Africa (46.6 per cent), Central America and the Caribbean (42.9 per cent), EU and EFTA (41 per cent), North America (38.9 per cent), Asia-Pacific (36.3 per cent), Central Asia and Eastern Europe (34.7 per cent) and Middle East (24 per cent).

The highest time required for tax filing is in South America at 620 hours, followed by Africa (317hrs), Central Asia and Eastern Europe (245hrs), Asia-Pacific (229hrs), North America (213hrs), Central America and the Caribbean (211hrs), EU and EFTA (176hrs) and Middle East (160hrs).

In terms of payments, the worst region is Africa (36.2 payments) followed by Central America and the Caribbean (33.8 payments), Asia-Pacific (25.4 payments), South America (23.7 payments), Central Asia and Eastern Europe (23.3 payments), Middle East (16.8 payments), EU & EFTA (12.3 payments) and North America (8.2 payments).

Gorgeous Aishwarya Rai on an endorsement spree in Kuwait

Actress attended Longines event

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan attended an event of a watch company in Kuwait recently.

The Bollywood actress has been associated with Longines for 15 years.

The former Miss World wore a black Burberry outfit for the event. She kept her open, wore a pair of Louboutin and a red lip completed her look.

Daughter Aaradhya Bachchan and her mother Brindya Rai had also accompanied her. 

AFP

For the evening dinner Aishwarya opted for an Indian outfit designed by Manish Arora.

The outfit look outstanding on the runway and in a print ad, but unfortunately, Ash’s desi way with the addition of the dupatta, looked gaudy.

Pic: Twitter - ‏@AishwaryaRaiWeb

Pic: Twitter - ‏@AishwaryaRaiWeb

On the movies front, Aishwarya is currently gearing up for her comeback movie ’Jazbaa’. Directed by Sanjay Gupta, ’Jazbaa’ will see the actress play a lawyer.

Apart from ’Jazbaa’, she will also be seen in filmmaker Karan Johar’s ’Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ with Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma. 

Indian Bollywood film actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai (L) arrives for a promotional event on March 11, 2015 in Kuwait City. AFP

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