UAE Resident Who Took Out $100K Crypto Loan Saved by Ex-Coworkers

A foreign resident of Abu Dhabi who was potentially facing jail time over an unpaid $100,000 loan received $27,400 in donations after his story spread.

A former Etihad Airlines flight attendant who took out a $100,000 loan to invest in cryptocurrency may not be facing jail time after he received 25% of the total debt in donations from former coworkers.

Reddit user Crypthomie, identified only as a 34-year-old man who is not an United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizen, posted to the Cryptocurrency subreddit on June 19, stating that his ex-coworkers had raised $27,400 towards his massive debt. 

“Hundreds of websites [wrote] articles on my situation,” Crypthomie said, specifically crediting Cointelegraph for spreading his story. “Eventually [they] reached my ex-coworkers who figured out who was involved as they knew I was heavy in debt and a crypto enthusiast.“

Jail time over a bank loan?

Cointelegraph reported on June 10 that the former flight attendant took out a loan during the Bitcoin (BTC) all-time high in December 2017 for 338,000 Dirham—approximately $109,000 ⁠at the time—with Emirates Islamic Bank. He was unable to make his repayment schedule after losing his job with Etihad Airlines

In the UAE, where authorities treat debt as a criminal matter rather than a civil one, this meant Crypthomie could have faced up to three years in jail or longer if the loan had stayed unpaid.

“At first I started to freak out and got very scared that my bank or the UAE government [would] find out that I made that post and enforce my possible sentence,” he said. “I deleted everything to cover my back but it was too late anyway.“ 

Still a long way to go

Though the donations may certainly remove the immediate threat of jail time, Crypthomie is still on the hook for 393,296.80 Dirham—about $107,000 at the time of writing—to be paid by the end of 2021. 

His former coworkers’ generosity covers 25.6% of the total debt, but the bank requires monthly installments of roughly $2,230, meaning the Reddit user has more than 12 months’ worth of payments if interest rates remain more or less the same. 

However, Crypthomie says it’s more than enough: 

“Their generosity is saving my wife and I big time for a couple of months and we will [be] able to look for a new job but don’t need to worry about jail anymore for now.”

“Can’t wait to take a new loan and buy Bitcoin,” he said before admitting he was, of course, joking.

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