Ex-soldier held in Dubai over drugs claims

Andy NealImage copyright
Detained in Dubai

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Andy Neal moved to Dubai with his wife and two young children in 2015

A British war veteran and father-of-two has been held in a Dubai jail for four months over drugs claims.

Andy Neal, 44, was “accosted” by police in his apartment complex car park, campaign group Detained in Dubai said.

They then searched his home, claimed he had been handling drugs and he has been in Dubai’s central jail since 4 October.

The group said phone analysis proved Mr Neal was innocent and he is the victim of “shameful police misconduct”.

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Mr Neal, from Nottingham, served in the Army for 24 years.

He moved to Dubai with his wife and two young children in 2015. He runs a dog training business and his wife is a teacher.

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Detained in Dubai

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Mrs Neal said the first time she saw her husband in jail, he broke down in tears and said “I had nothing to do with any of this”

Detained in Dubai said, while in his home, police punched Mr Neal twice in the stomach, pinned him against the wall and accused him of handling drugs, which he denied.

At the station, officers drew up a statement in Arabic and “forced” Mr Neal to sign using his fingerprint, the group said.

It was later found to be a confession saying Mr Neal bought drugs from a man called Ray and sold them to a man called Ahmed, it added.

Detained in Dubai said his alleged accuser Ahmed officially retracted his statement during a meeting in January.

It also said no drugs were found in Mr Neal’s possession and all tests had returned negative.

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Detained in Dubai

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Mr Neal served as a corporal from 1991 to 2009 and then with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps as a dog handler, with tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Ireland

Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai, said: “The police not only failed to competently investigate the case, but have locked up an innocent British family man for over four months.

“Andy has lost his business, and has lost four months of his life to what can only be described as despicable police practice.

“I call on the government of Dubai to respond to this injustice swiftly.”

Mr Neal’s MP, Mark Spencer, said he had been in contact with Mr Neal’s family and was liaising with the the Foreign Office.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has also been asked for support.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: “We are providing assistance to a British man after his arrest in Dubai and are in touch with his family and the UAE authorities.”

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The above article is by a guest contributor, or shared from another news outlet.