Dubai jails British expat for furious email to dodgy car dealer

Published:  10 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, Dubai, UAE, Jobs, England
Dubai’s habit of jailing Western expats for what seems like no good reason is hitting the news yet again.

British estate agent Yaseen Killick was understandably angry when the second-hand Volkswagen Gold he’d bought from a local dealer for £6,000 broke down the next day. Anger turned to fury when he discovered the car had previously been written off following an accident and had been purchased as a wreck from the insurance company by the dealer. Killick sent a WhatsApp message to the dealer accusing him of ripping him off and threatening to take him to court for his deception.

Subsequently, the dealer reported Killick to the police, who arrested him at Dubai Airport as he and his wife were leaving to spend Christmas with family in the UK. He was thrown in jail and fined £1,000, and the couple have now lost their jobs and home as well as being out of pocket for the costs as well as the cash paid for the car.

When asked about the case, a representative of Detained in Dubai told reporters the emirate has the strictest cyber crime laws on the planet, adding many expats have fallen foul of them even if they were outside the country at the time. Anyone who sends an online message which may be interpreted as critical or a complaint can be arrested, and fines or even imprisonment can be the result.

Killick spent three weeks in jail, including Christmas Day, reporting the conditions were horrifying and the food was even worse. It seems expats are being regularly targeted by Dubai police and imprisoned for so-called offences, with foreigners now being advised not to report incidents including rape in which they were the victims. In such cases, raped women have been accused of having extramarital sex, a crime in the UAE.
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