British woman held under house arrest in Italy following UAE initiated Interpol notice for debt
A British national has been arrested in Italy over a €15,000 debt to a Dubai bank. The woman was held by Italian authorities for over eight hours in custody, without toilet facilities or access to water and food.
She is now being held under house arrest awaiting decisions from Italian authorities as to how they wish to proceed.
The debt is associated to an eight year old security cheque which was not honoured when presented.
The arrest, for potential extradition, breaches UAE/Interpol agreements which Interpol itself, does not actively enforce. The UAE authorities have 30 days to reply to Italy with further information about the case.
At this point, Italy will decide whether to drop the case or to continue in court as debt is not a criminal matter under Italian law. They will also take into account the possibility of Human Rights abuses should the woman be extradited.
If court action is instigated, estimates for court costs are €500,000+ to the Italian taxpayer and exponential living expenses to the detained woman who would continue under house arrest while proceedings are underway.
Detained in Dubai has supplied expert testimony and won in previous high profile court cases similar to this. Their founder and CEO, Radha Stirling says in a statement, “This case represents yet another example of Interpol Abuse. Anyone who has UAE debt could be subject to an Interpol Notice”. Her advice is that travellers should contact Detained in Dubai to check their status if they wish to avoid potentially lengthy and unnecessary detentions.