Muscat: The number of bounced cheque cases increased by 9.9 per cent in 2018 to stand at 469,187 up from 426,977 in 2017, according to the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).
According to CBO Financial Stability Report 2019, the total number of cheques subject to the clearing process increased by only one per cent to 4.7 million in 2018 compared to 2017.
Bounced cheques for insufficient funds account for 78.2pc of the case, followed by account closure or ‘legally blocked’ account (12.6pc) and encoding errors (1.9pc).
Under the Omani Penal Code, a dud cheque is potentially a crime if proven by the Public Prosecution that there was an intent to defraud the intended beneficiary of the cheque.
Penalties can include jail terms ranging from three months to two years in addition to a fine of up to OMR500. However, not all instances of dud cheques are referred to the Public Prosecution for criminal action, according to Muscat Daily.