Guyanese held without charges for over a year in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Friday September 28, 2012 – A Guyanese businessman has been held in jail in Dubai since August 2011, when he was arrested en route from Bangkok to Brazil via Dubai, where he overnighted for a business meeting with an Afghan national.

Abul Kalam Azad Sattaur is being held without charges at Dubai’s Marakabat Police Station. He claims that in August 2011 he visited the hotel room of a businessman to arrange a diamond transaction, and was arrested when police burst into the room.

 According to Sattaur, police searched the businessman and found 40,000 counterfeit UAE currency notes in his possession. The Guyanese was also arrested and has been held in detention ever since.

While Sattaur hasn’t been charged with any crime, Emirates authorities are reportedly claiming that he had a forged US$100 bill in his possession.

Information from the Guyana Embassy in Kuwait reveals that Sattaur was born in Skeldon, Guyana, and travels on a Guyana passport. He is the proprietor of a diamond firm in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he is married with children to a Brazilian national.

He told Guyana’s ambassador to Kuwait Dr Odeen Ishmael that he had travelled to the Far and Middle East on a regular basis prior to his arrest.

Sattaur contacted the Guyana Embassy in Kuwait in March, and that same month Dr Ishmael officially contacted the UAE through their embassy in Kuwait City, seeking further information about Sattaur’s arrest and detention.

“Despite reminders, we have not obtained any response as yet,” Dr Ishmael reportedly said.

Guyana’s Middle East envoy George Hallaq subsequently visited the UAE and was assured that charges would be instituted and that Sattaur would appear before a court.

That is yet to happen, and with UAE authorities remaining silent on the case, questions are being raised as to their respect for international conventions.

Sattaur was reportedly taken before a judge in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago and was informed that an attorney would be provided for him, but there are said to have been no further developments in the increasingly baffling case.       

The London organisation Fair Trials International is said to have shown interest in Sattaur’s predicament and sent him paperwork more than two months ago, but he is reportedly yet to receive it. 

Sattaur’s wife is now expected to approach the Brazilian government to intervene on her husband’s behalf. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)