Drum n bass DJ Grooverider faces a four-year prison term for allegedly carrying cannabis and pornography into Dubai.
Grooverider, aka Raymond Bingham, has been in custody in the UAE since his arrest at Dubai airport on November 23 after customs officials discovered pornographic DVDs in his luggage and a small amount of cannabis in his record box.
Pornography is strictly controlled in the Gulf State, which regularly censors even slightly racy images in imported magazines and newspapers. Anti-drug laws are also strict, with the penalty for the possession of cannabis landing offenders a minimum four-year prison sentence and deportation.
Local press in Dubai reports that traces of drugs were found in Mr Bingham’s urine in laboratory tests by police examiners.
Grooverider faces a hearing in Dubai Court over the next few days which will determine his fate.
The arrest is the latest in a series of drug busts involving Western talent booked to perform in the Gulf State, which struggles to balance conservative Islamic traditions with the liberal tastes of its large expatriate population.
In 2006, US RnB star Dallas Austin was sentenced to four years in prison in the country after being caught carrying cocaine and ecstacy into the country. Austin was later pardoned by the ruler of Dubai after intense lobbying from both US senators with business ties in the region and Lionel Ritchie, a cult favourite in the Arab world.
British Embassy officials in Dubai have been in contact with Mr. Bingham, according to reports.