A DJ with regular slots on the U.K.’s BBC Radio One was sentenced to four years in jail after police found drugs that he says he’d forgotten about.
On February 19 a Dubai court found DJ Grooverider, whose real name is Raymond Bingham, guilty of possession and illegally bringing marijuana into the United Arab Emirates. He has two weeks to appeal.
The federation’s seven states are renowned for their zero-tolerance approach to possession of even the smallest amount of drugs.
Fair Trials International has warned travelers of the risks of trying to take drugs into Dubai, where a four-year stretch is the country’s minimum sentence for possession.
The international charity organisation highlighted the case of Keith Brown, who was arrested after a rolled up cigarette containing 0.003 grams of cannabis was discovered in the sole of his shoe, and that of a Swiss national who was jailed after three poppy seeds allegedly from a bread roll were found on his clothes. Both were given four years.
DJ Grooverider was arrested at Dubai airport November 23 last year after police found a small transparent bag containing 2.16 grams of cannabis in his luggage.
"The drugs were in my possession and I forgot I had them in my trousers," he’d told an earlier hearing.
Grooverider, a prominent name in music circles since the late ’90s when he helped popularise drum’n’bass, was to play a set at a nightclub in the city.
"I just want this to end. I want to leave and never come back," he reportedly said after the four-year sentence was passed.