BBC South East discusses students detained in Dubai over rental car extortion with Radha Stirling
BBC's Piers Hopkirk talks with Detained in Dubai's CEO, Radha Stirling on the detention of James Due-Wiafe and Stanley Kundishora. James and Stanley talk directly about their holiday nightmare in Dubai. Detained in Dubai are representing the boys and have appealed to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed to intervene and help these university students get home to their families and back to school.
Radha Stirling with Erika North BBC Radio Kent on James & Stanley, detained in Dubai over rental car
BBC Radio Kent talks with Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai who is representing James and Stanley. Two British university students who were mistaken for Premier League footballers have been stranded in Dubai for more than two months after a row over renting a £100,000 Range Rover, MailOnline can reveal. James Dua-Wiafi and Stanley Kundishora flew to the Gulf state in August to celebrate their joint 21st birthday with a group of friends. But the trip of a lifetime backfired badly when the young, naive travellers damaged the top end car they had hired as a treat. Instead of being covered by insurance as they thought, the men say they became victims of a scam with rental officials extorting £16,000 from them, believing they were from wealthy backgrounds. After a heated exchange over the money and a confiscated passport, the car company filed a criminal complaint against them, meaning neither can leave Dubai unless they pay an extra £30,000. Radha Stirling, from Detained in Dubai has taken up the case: 'Both James and Stanley cannot afford the never ending demands of the rental company. Visiting Dubai has been the most expensive mistake of their lives'. Pictured: The students in the car rental office A spokesman denied any attempted extortion and claimed his office staff were attacked by the students, who claim they were set upon first (above) With little help from the British embassy, Detained in Dubai has taken up the case. Radha Stirling said: 'Both James and Stanley can not afford the never ending demands of the rental company. Visiting Dubai has been the most expensive mistake of their lives, both financially and emotionally. 'This situation is all too common. We have dealt with a number of similar cases over the past decade of rental agencies extorting funds from desperate and unsuspecting tourists who just want to get home. 'It is an absolute disgrace that locals still see British tourists as easy prey.' When Mail Online contacted the rental company we were told in the event of an accident in a Range Rover SVR the insurance excess would be £1,000. Their website clearly states insurance is included in the cost of the daily rental.
Andy Slaughter, MP slams UK government on the Gulf in Justice Podcast with Radha Stirling
Andy Slaughter, MP slams FCDO & calls for UK government action on the Gulf in Justice Podcast with Radha Stirling Andy Slaughter discusses how human rights are being overlooked with UAE trade deals being prioritised by the British government. “It’s something that should really worry the government very much. It’s very difficult not to conclude that a blind eye is being turned because of the advantages. It could be trade and commerce, it could be defence but that should not trump the human rights of the individual citizens”. In a letter to Foreign Minister, Rt Hon. Dominic Raab, Slaughter and Baroness Whitaker, MP called for an increase in travel warnings and potential sanctions for human rights violations committed against British citizens like Albert Douglas. Grandfather Albert Douglas was detained in Dubai over his son’s business debts, something that Radha Stirling, regional expert and host of Gulf in Justice, explains is very common in the UAE. Detained in Dubai’s client Morag Koussa, a British national, was released last year after being held for her estranged husband’s bank debts. Albert Douglas, in a recorded phone call from prison, testified as to human rights violations, torture and the deprivation of much needed heart medication. Yet, the British government has not made the effort to request an inquiry into his unfair detention. Stirling, an Expert Witness in extradition cases, confirms that British courts refuse to extradite to the UAE based on ‘the real risk of human rights violations, unfair trials and torture’. “So why has the UK not reflected these High Court rulings in their travel warnings to British nationals?”. Slaughter calls out the FCDO “If we have this good relationship with the UAE, why are we not using that relationship to put pressure on the UAE, especially with British nationals”. What is clear from this episode of Gulf in Justice, is that the UK is increasingly dependent on the UAE as a trade partner and a significant investor into UK infrastructure and private business. The UAE has paid its way to influence policy at the highest levels in the UK and the US which is putting individuals at increased and significant risk of grave violations. www.gulfinjustice.news
Interview with Khater Massaad - Gulf in Justice Podcast - Radha Stirling - Sheikh Saud Al Qasimi
Former advisor to UAE ruler breaks silence: Khater Massaad on Sheikh Saud Former advisor to Ras Al Khaimah ruler, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, breaks silence. Khater Massaad is the former CEO of RAKIA, RAK Ceramics and various enterprises embarked upon during his tenure and before the ruler’s purge of foreign nationals he felt “knew too much”. In his first interview on the topic, Swiss national Dr Khater Massaad spoke with expert Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, Due Process International and the host of the Gulf in Justice Podcast. About Khater Massaad Massaad is arguably the most influential businessman in the recent history of Ras Al Khaimah.” according to Construction Week. The Lebanese born professional pilot and industrial developer, Dr Massaad, graduated from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland with a PhD in Geophysics and an MSc in Mathematics. He is a citizen of both countries. An astute and visionary business leader, “lauded for extracting wealth from the barren rocks of the Ras Al Khaimah mountains, helping transform the emirate into an unlikely manufacturing hub and picking up numerous business awards along the way”. A prized ally and close advisor to the ruler of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, Massaad was the founder of RAK Ceramics and the driving force behind unprecedented success for the northern Emirate bringing in revenue of more than $1bn from more than 150 countries, securing RAK’s position on the map and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award (MRM Business Award) for industry. RAK Ceramics was awarded the “Best Brand of the Year” by the Middle East Business Leaders Summit, and was rated the number 3 UAE brand, only after Etisilat and Emirates Airlines. Massaad was presented with the Visionary CEO Award at the Middle East Business Leaders Summit and Awards in Dubai in April 2010. Dr Massad’s continued promotion of Ras Al Khaimah guided the destiny of what is now “the topmost ceramic manufacturing organisation in the world, and a jewel in the sector of the whole Middle East, all achieved in 16 years”. In recognition of his efforts in attracting foreign investment to Ras Al Khaimah, Dr Massaad received the "FDI Personality of-the Year” award, noting his “spectacular transformation of Ras Al Khaimah into a thriving business and investment destination in the region”. Previous winners included the Mexican President Vincente Fox, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula d Silva. This Award is in recognition to Dr. Massaad's diligent and successful efforts to attract foreign investment to Ras Al Khaimah thereby contributing greatly to the continued economic growth and development of the emirate and adding to its attraction as an investment location," Courtney Fingar, Editor of Financial Times' niche magazine fDi said. Dr Massaad notoriety in the Emirate led to his appointment as Advisor to the Crown Prince in 2003 and CEO of RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA). Never disappointing, in his first two years, Massaad attracted more than $1bn in industry investments to the Emirate. RAKIA was awarded the “Top Ten Global Free Zones of the Future” and the “Most Attractive” for FDI. Known as the “Golden Boy of the Emirates” for widespread achievements in the region, Dr Massaad’s intense geophysical research and commitment to achievement led him to turn vision into success at every turn. Massaad was the Managing Director of several development companies including RAKEEN development, Al Hamra Real Estate Company and the Al Hamra Fort Hotel. “We have achieved great success in placing Ras Al Khaimah on the global map”, Dr Massaad recalls in an interview with the Seoul Times. Having developed long lasting success in the UAE, Massaad has now turned his attention to his own projects where he applies unparalleled drive, knowledge, innovation and experience to leading international enterprise. “There is no stopping Dr Massaad! He is a force of nature”. But rather than thanking those who helped drive the Emirate to success, Sheikh Saud embarked upon a massive purge when he came into power. This included jailing workers and employees of the former ruler, issuing frivolous Interpol notices, and robbing them of their net worth through a series of abusive and meritless legal proceedings in his own personal courts. Massaad has fought off three baseless Interpol notices, a meritless extradition request and several civil court actions, but the Sheikh continues in his endeavours to seize assets that simply don’t belong to him. Massaad discusses the “wild west of the UAE” in his interview with expert witness, Radha Stirling. http://www.radhastirling.com http://www.detainedindubai.org http://www.khatermassaad.com http://www.gulfinjustince.news
John Nicholas Testimonial for Radha Stirling - Interpol Red Notice Removal from Qatar
John Nicholas was wrongfully listed on Qatar's Interpol Red Notice database by Qatar National Bank for a small bank loan which Mr Nicholas had almost entirely discharged by the time he left Qatar. QNB added atrocious charges to try to escalate the claiming amount beyond Interpol's minimum 15,000 Euro threshold for a Red Notice. Mr Nicholas was the victim of Interpol Abuse and is joining Stirling's other clients in a class action against Interpol. Related Press Release from July 3, 2021 here: Over the past three years, Qatar has significantly increased its use of Interpol’s database, leading to the temporary arrests of a number of foreign nationals in countries like Britain, Greece and Turkey. “It’s absurd that Qatar has been permitted by Interpol to use their database as a means to collect bank and credit card debts from foreign nationals”, said expert witness Radha Stirling, CEO of IPEX (Interpol and Extradition) Reform (Interpol and Extradition) Reform. Banks have pressured Qatari law enforcement to report even small debtors to Interpol, with a view to having them detained abroad and pressured to discharge credit cards and loans. This is clearly against INTERPOL’s charter and is a violation of their membership agreement but, as usual, Interpol would rather accept the donations from Middle Eastern countries and remain silent, than to punish them for abusing Interpol’s power and reputation. - An Emirati’s potential appointment as Interpol head draws criticism “These people are not being arrested because EU countries respect Qatar. They are being arrested because Qatar is routing their request through a reputable organisation, but that organisation is losing respect fast. “Conor Howard was recently arrested in Greece over an herb grinder. It was a joke and he was finally released after a worldwide campaign. Alan Stevenson was arrested in Czech where local authorities called it “an abuse of his rights”. British national, Steve Williams, was detained in Mallorca over a Qatar bank debt that had been trebled. - Stevenson detention ‘an abuse of his rights’ “We are pleased that we have today received word that a British national’s name has been deleted from Interpol’s database, but it should never have been there in the first place. It was another frivolous notice issued by a bank, portraying that the victim was some kind of seasoned criminal. Interpol allowed themselves a significant amount of time to review his case before finally removing it but there is no apology, no punishment for Qatar and no compensation for the victim. “The pattern of abuse and the history of corruption within Interpol should be sufficient for the elimination of their sovereign immunity. They are not acting on behalf of governments. They are acting on behalf of their financial donors, banks and influential private corporations and individuals. They have no right to claim diplomatic immunity”. “Interpol is complicit in numerous and serious human rights abuses and will soon be held to account. Interpol has become a pay to play organisation, open to manipulation and abuse by countries with poor human rights records. Countries like the UAE, Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Egypt and China have been able to use the crime tool for their own personal vendettas. Countries like the Emirates have used Interpol’s reach to extend their jurisdiction beyond their borders, causing the arrest, detention and prosecution abroad of many innocent victims. Innocent individuals have been listed on Interpol, arrested, detained and tried for “crimes” that don’t even meet Interpol’s minimum reporting criteria. Journalists, activists, businessmen and credit card debtors have been locked up in Western nations at the mere request of countries who repeatedly take advantage of their membership with Interpol.” - Radha Stirling http://www.ipexreform.com http://www.radhastirling.com
André Gauthier Testimonial - Canadian whistleblower scapegoated in Dubai Gold AE fraud
"I'm Andre and I've been detained in Dubai for five years and a half for something I haven't done. If it were not for Radha, her team, my son and my friends, and the Canadian government, I probably would still be there today. Radha, her team and my sons have been the one who started everything, the process, to make sure that I will be able to come back home, safe and in good health. Exactly one year ago, they succeeded to get me out of jail and approximately 11 months later, they were able to repatriate me back to Canada. Since the time they have started their work, approximately two years ago, they have been working intensively in coordination with the Canadian government to make sure to bring me back safely. Again, thanks very much Radha and the entire team." André Gauthier is finally reunited with his family after years-long ordeal that left him scapegoated by members of Gold AE. “It seemed as though Gauthier’s nightmare would never end when he first contacted us”, said Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai who represents the Gauthiers. Stirling interviewed André on her Gulf in Justice Podcast over the weekend. “There were dozens of cases against him, some of which could not be appealed anymore. André had tried everything he could to resolve the cases legally, spending hundreds of thousand on lawyers, when he contacted us after a failed attempt to flee via the Omani border. “It was certainly a complicated case. It involved Ponzi schemes, money laundering and royals. The investors in Gold AE who were defrauded, were wrongfully told to take cases against André. This would provide enough distraction for the scamsters to leave the country. They ended up setting up new and similar scams in Canada, which we reported to authorities. “Once we reviewed the substantial evidence of André’s innocence, we released a video appeal from Andre himself to end his arbitrary detention and brought the case to the media. This injustice needed to be heard. The Canadian media was outraged by the legal abuse. With significant interest, Andre’s son, Alexis, recruited Richard Martel, MP who raised André’s case in Parliament on several occasions, and to the attention of Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau who commented on the case. Martel is the Conservative deputy for Chicoutimi Fjord who worked relentlessly on André’s case, thanks to André’s brother for soliciting his help. Martel worked closely with the Canadian former foreign affairs minister, Francois Phillipe Champagne and his successor, Marc Garneau. A non-partisan effort was undertaken for the common goal to bring a Canadian citizen home, with former foreign minister Chrystia Freeland taking the initial steps. “Detained in Dubai works with foreign governments on a regular basis. We advised the Minister on how they could help André home, working tirelessly with them to support the process. It’s a whole different system in the UAE and most personnel have limited experience in the region. Our expertise is welcomed by diplomats. “The fact of the matter is that André was instrumental in exposing the Gold AE scandal, and accepted the task of trying to recover the stolen funds for investors, but ended up being a scapegoat. It was absolutely outrageous, and we are grateful for the Canadian government’s responsiveness to our calls for intervention and for welcoming our input. While it was frustrating for everyone involved that the resolution took so long, the UAE finally acknowledged André’s innocence, and ultimately that is all that matters. We'd like to thank the Francois-Phillippe Champagne, Canada's former minster of foreign affairs and his counterpart in the UAE, HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. We look forward to future cooperations that ultimately will make the Emirates a safer place for investors in the future. “Detained in Dubai and the Gauthier family would like to thank the members of the Canadian government whose support was instrumental in freeing André. Without diplomatic support, André would likely have died in prison. Canada has set an impressive example of how foreign governments can overcome significant adversity in the Middle East. Other countries should take note. With such a precedent setting diplomatic rescue, it will be difficult for another other foreign government to claim they ‘can’t get involved’. “André and his family are extremely brave and very patient. His son Alexis, never gave up hope. He spent every single day lobbying politicians, diplomats, lawyers, and dealing with the media. The whole family deserves a holiday. André is in good spirits, isolating, and looking forward to a family reunion. I had the pleasure of speaking with him on the Gulf in Justice Podcast over the weekend, and look forward to meeting him in person. “André Gauthier has made significant financial losses as a result of his wrongful detention and we will fully explore all avenues of retribution.”
Investment in Dubai - Radha Stirling showcases the risks of investing in the UAE with Tamer Misshal
Arabic documentary showcasing the risks of investing in Dubai. Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai has defended countless investors and businessmen, who have been jailed, robbed or place on Interpol. Stirling has warned investors and spoken at finance conferences to highlight the serious dangers of investing in Dubai. Detained in Dubai, the organisation founded over a decade ago, discusses the case of Mohammed Haddad who has taken action against Baker McKenzie's CEO Habib al Mulla in the High Court of England for corruption and legal abuse that lead to the theft of Al Mulla's £250,000,000 company. - Aljazeera