Jamil Mukadam one of the many recent high profile Brits detained in Dubai for seemingly trivial offences has been released, but the UAE has not done so in good grace. Mukadam was told by his management that he has been secretly placed on an Interpol watch list by Dubai authorities since leaving, meaning his UK government job is at risk.
Jamil Mukadam was released on October 12th 2017 from his ordeal. The 22 year old UK government employee was nearly run off the road by a dangerous driver. He reflexively raised his middle finger to the other party in a flash of anger. Any kind of rude gesture is a jailable offence in Dubai, including the popular “middle finger emoji” in Whatsapp.
Bright future. Jamil Mukadam in happier times
Jamil had spent five weeks in Dubai detention before a Detained In Dubai worldwide media campaign secured his release. He was facing up to 18 months in prison.
Jamil had spent all his savings, £15,000 in expenses and legal fees, but was immensely relieved to be back on British soil, free and out of danger.
The UAE hasn’t finished with Jamil yet, it seems. The IT expert returned to work a few days later, to be told by his UK government bosses that the UAE authorities had placed him on an Interpol watch list. This kind of listing should mean dismissal from his security sensitive job, although Jamil’s department head has suspended him and given him some time to get himself legally removed from the list.
“If I had been anyone else, I’d never have known I was on Interpol’s watch list,” says Jamil. “Billy Barclay and Jamie Harron should really check to make sure they aren’t listed too. It’s only because I work for the government that I was able to be informed. God knows why the UAE wanted to list me with Interpol, but it can’t have been for any pleasant reason.”
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai confirms that abuse of Interpol has been a long standing tactic of the UAE, one of Interpol’s largest voluntary cash contributors.
“We see this all the time,” says Stirling. “The UAE misuses Interpol for collecting even small value debts, one recently as low as £5,000 and the latest victim merely had a £12,000 credit card debt. She was arrested and detained in Italy for several weeks while the UAE tried to extradite her, before the attempt was defeated and she was finally being released.
“Interpol is not mandated to collect debts, so the UAE reclassifies debt as fraud. By this dubious mechanism former Dubai residents are detained on Interpol warrants when passing through airports for missing sometimes just a couple of credit card payments. Interpol is aware of the abuse but has so far failed to enforce their own mandate which prevents them from accepting civil matters as criminal arrest warrants. If the victims of Interpol abuse were arrested in an unfavourable jurisdiction and extradition were successful, these debt victims would face years in Dubai jails, with little hope of release.
“We have alerted the UAE government of the existence of the Interpol notice and requested they investigate. So far, we have not received a response. Interpol allow themselves at least nine months to review notices and Jamil stands to permanently lose his employment if it is not resolved within three months."