Mistaken Deposit To Bank Account – Receiver Declines To Return The Funds


While initiating a transaction from your bank account to someone else’s, you need to double-check all the details, such as the account number, name of the transferee, bank name etc., to ensure that your money is going into the account you intend to transfer in. Nonetheless, owing to human error, often times, people mistakenly transfer huge amounts of money to a completely different person. The solution in this case is to hope that the person who has received your money is kind enough to return it back in the same way. But what happens if he doesn’t? What do you do in case your money is kept by someone and is refusing to return it back to you?

Breach of trust

Keeping someone else’s money in this manner can subject a person to criminal charges. It may constitute the offence of breach of trust as under Article 454 of Federal Decree-Law No. 31 of 2021 On the Issuance of the Crimes and Penalties Law of the UAE. According to the Article, a person who knowingly keeps the property of another, delivered to him by mistake or due to a supervening event, will be punished in accordance with the law. Therefore, not returning the money deposited accidentally by someone into your bank account could expose you to the liabilities under the criminal law of the UAE.

To show that a person has committed the offence of breach of trust by way of keeping money belonging to someone else, the following essentials must be fulfilled, as per Article 453 and 454 of the Crimes and Penalties Law:

  1. The property involved in the offence must be movable property
  2. The property must be delivered to the accused without him having a legal right over it
  3. The accused must have received the property by one of the following means: lease, deposit, usage, trust, mortgage or proxy
  4. The property must be embezzled or used or wasted by the accused
  5. The victim must have suffered damages as a result.


A person guilty for the offence of breach of trust will be liable to imprisonment which may go up to two years, or a fine starting from AED 20,000.

Article 23 of Federal Decree-Law No. 38 of 2022 Promulgating the Criminal Procedure Law allows the victims of such cases to seek compensation through a civil case, for the loss suffered as a result.

If you are on the receiving end of such a transaction, it is advised that you return the amount of money transferred to the original owner as soon as possible, to avoid criminal charges. Whereas, if you are the victim in such a case, it is better to hire a professional lawyer who will be able to help you in the court process, because you will need to file a criminal as well as a civil case.

Offences such as breach of trust and criminal misappropriation are efficiently dealt with by the country’s robust and efficient legal system, which endeavors to protect the rights of the victims and guarantee justice accordingly.

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