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Dubai Promoters Grumble About Grooverider

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Friday, December 7, 2007
Press reports in Dubai this week said promoters who booked Grooverider were 'furious' with the Radio 1 star for being busted at the airport, as the London drum & bass star started his second week locked up in a United Arab Emirates cell.

Event promoter Ram Nath from Dexar Music told the Gulf News he'd been waiting to collect Groove at the airport becoming increasingly alarmed as his scheduled midnight set time passed.

"He was delayed through customs and after several hours of waiting and checking, police informed me that he had been arrested for drug possession and having pornographic CDs," said Ram Nath, from Dexar Music the event promoter.

"I feel very sorry for him as this may spell the end of his career. However we sent his management a list of what is prohibited and what is acceptable in the UAE prior to his arrival in the country," he told 7 Days, Dubai.

Mr Nath told the Gulf News his company is suing Grooverider's management to return his £4,000 DJ fee, though much more ominously for the DJ were other press reports detailing his plight.

Local newspaper Khalleej Times referred to him only by his initials R.B (Raymond Bingham), the standard procedure for non-celebrity drug users regularly jailed for four years, and even worse, quoted a police source as saying traces of drugs were found in his urine following drugs tests.

"On searching the DJ, who arrived at the airport around 7pm, the police found small quantities of marijuana in his bag and pornographic DVDs," the same police source told the Times, "During police interrogation, he said that he was not aware of the marijuana found in his bag," the official added.

The case prompted Bahrain club promoter/ DJ Karim Miknas to issue a pointed warning to anybody travelling to Dubai to double check their belongings, in an email posted to his DJ contacts.

"Now I know that we are all responsible people and don't do drugs at all but keep in mind that there is a zero tolerance policy in Dubai towards drugs and people have been known to be jailed for being caught with just one pill and in some cases for testing positive to THC being in their blood system," the Likwid/ Level promoter warned.

"The general jail term is 4 years and sometimes gets reduced, but not always. Of course no one should carry any amount of any controlled substances with them when travelling through airports anyway, but even an accidental situation can end you up in serious trouble," he stressed.

"Check your bags, all your clothes, secret pockets, liner in jackets, wherever something may be forgotten, THOROUGHLY before travelling to Dubai and make sure those you know do the same. It's better to be safe than sorry and a small high is just not worth 4 years of jail anywhere on this planet. Fair warning, Lots of love from friendly Bahrain," Karim added.