A Radio 1 DJ recognised as one of the pioneers of drum N bass music was yesterday sentenced in Dubai to four years in prison for possession of cannabis. Grooverider, whose real name is Raymond Bingham, was found guilty of possession and illegally bringing marijuana into the United Arab Emirates.
He was arrested at Dubai airport on November 23 last year after police found a small transparent bag containing 2.16g of the drug in his luggage. The four-year sentence was the minimum term allowed under UAE law, which takes a hard line on drugs. Recently a string of travellers have been arrested as Dubai’s popularity as a tourism and business destination has increased.
“It’s another incident of exactly the sort of case we’ve seen occurring with increased frequency,” said Catherine Wolthuizen, chief executive of Fair Trials International charity.
The charity issued a warning to travellers earlier this month, advising them to read up on Dubai’s restrictions and make sure they are free of any substances. There have been a series of incidents in which Dubai authorities have arrested travellers with trace levels of forbidden substances or seemingly innocuous items.
British tourist Keith Brown was jailed a week ago in Dubai after police found a tiny speck of cannabis on the sole of his shoe.