A former flight attendant for Etihad Airlines who took out a $100,000 loan to invest in cryptomoney may not be facing jail time after receiving 25% of the total debt in donations from his former co-workers.
The Reddit u/Crypthomie user, identified only as a 34-year-old man who is not a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, posted a message on the Cryptocurrency subreddit on 19 June claiming that his former co-workers had raised USD 27,400 for his huge debt.
„Hundreds of websites [wrote] articles about my situation,“ u/Crypthomie said, specifically crediting Cointelegraph for spreading its story. „Eventually [the articles] reached my former co-workers, who found out who was involved, as they knew I was heavily in debt and was a crypto-currency enthusiast.
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Jail time for a bank loan?
Cointelegraph reported on 10 June that the former flight attendant had taken out a loan during Crypto Cash historic peak in December 2017 for 338,000 dirhams – approximately USD 109,000 at the time – from the Islamic Bank of the Emirates. He was unable to meet his payment plan after losing his job with Etihad Airlines.
In the United Arab Emirates, where the authorities treat the debt as a criminal rather than a civil matter, this meant that u/Crypthomie could have faced up to three years in jail or more if the loan was not repaid.
„I was very scared that my bank or the UAE government would find out that I had made that post and they would execute my possible sentence,“ he said. „I deleted everything to cover my back, but it was too late.
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There’s still a long way to go
Although donations can remove the immediate threat of going to jail, Crypthomie is still on the hook for 393,296.80 dirhams – about USD 107,000 at the time of this edition – to be paid by the end of 2021.
The generosity of his former colleagues covers 25.6% of the total debt, but the bank is demanding monthly payments of about USD 2,230, which means that the Reddit user has more than 12 months of payments if interest rates remain more or less the same.
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However, Crypthomie says that’s more than enough:
„Your generosity saves my wife and me a lot of time for a couple of months and we can look for a new job, but we don’t have to worry about prison anymore for now.“
„I can’t wait to take out a new loan and buy Bitcoin,“ he said before admitting that he was, of course, joking.