A British estate agent has spoken of his “nightmare” of being jailed in Dubai for sending a WhatsApp message to a car salesman he had bought a vehicle from.
Yaseen Killick sent the angry message to the dealer after splashing out £6,000 on a second-hand VW Golf that quickly broke down.
Realising the car had previously been written off, Mr Killick, 29, fired off the WhatsApp message that read: “How do you sleep at night knowing you are ripping people off?”
Mr Killick told the dealer that he was being “morally wrong” and threatened to take him to court.
However, the message provoked the dealer to complain to the police and Mr Killick, who moved to the Middle East with wife Robyn, 31, was arrested at Dubai airport and sent to prison for three weeks over Christmas.
Mr Killick, from Kingston, south west London, told The Sun: “It was a nightmare. The prison conditions were horrific.
“I was treated appallingly – all for sending a WhatsApp message.”
Mr Killick was also fined £1,000 and was given “beans, pumpkins and lentils” on Christmas Day instead of spending the festive period with his family in the UK.
His wife added: “We have lost our home and our jobs and it’s been horrible, all over this guy ripping us off and we are so badly out of pocket.”
Radha Stirling, of pressure group Detained In Dubai, said that the United Arab Emirates “has some of the strictest cyber crime laws in the world”.
She added: “Anyone who sends a message to someone in Dubai on electronic media that is critical or a complaint then they can find themselves subject to a police investigation and if convicted they can be fined or even imprisoned.”