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.“
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.“
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.