Brit dad-of-two facing year in hellhole Dubai prison over a ‘fake £20 mix up’ on dream family holiday 

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A BRIT tourist is facing year in a hellhole Dubai jail over a single fake £20 note.

Dad-of-two Billy Barclay was handcuffed and arrested in front of his horrified wife and two young kids at Dubai airport.

 Billy Barclay was handcuffed and arrested in front of his horrified wife and two young kids during dream holiday to Dubai

Billy Barclay was handcuffed and arrested in front of his horrified wife and two young kids during dream holiday to Dubai

He was caged for three days before being released on bail.

Billy, 31, is accused of passing on fake money during a trip to the United Arab Emirates last year.

The plasterer, of Edinburgh, denies the allegation and says he was cleared following an investigation.

But he is stranded in Dubai after he was passport was seized by authorities and now faces being dragged into court.

 Billy, 31, is accused of passing on fake money during a trip to the United Arab Emirates last year

PA:Press Association
Billy, 31, is accused of passing on fake money during a trip to the United Arab Emirates last year

Billy said: “We tried telling them about the mix-up last year but for some reason I was still in the computer as wanted for passing on fake money.

“I was held in shackles for three days in a cell away from my family.”

His partner Monique and their children, Madison, nine, and seven-year-old Billy Jnr, have been forced to fly back to Scotland alone.

Billy was originally arrested last year while trying to change £140 holiday cash at Al Hamra Mall.

 The plasterer, of Edinburgh, denies the allegation and says he was cleared following an investigation

The plasterer, of Edinburgh, denies the allegation and says he was cleared following an investigation

A £20 note set off one of the counterfeit money scanners and were hauled to the local police station.

Stunned Billy was quizzed for 12 hours while their hotel room was searched.

They were released and told they faced no charges after no fake money was found.

Monique, 42, said: “The relief was huge. I mean, we knew it was a mix-up.

“Either someone had given the note to Billy as change or maybe the detector machine was faulty.

“There was certainly no intent from us to steal £20, but until you’re released, you can’t help but be frightened.”

 But he is stranded in Dubai after he was passport was seized by authorities and now faces being dragged into court

Alamy
But he is stranded in Dubai after he was passport was seized by authorities and now faces being dragged into court

But the family were dealt a fresh blow when Billy was arrested again when he returned to the country on September 15.

Radha Stirling, the CEO of British NGO Detained In Dubai, said: “Clearly in this case, Mr Barclay received a counterfeit note that was already in circulation and is himself a victim.

“Charging him over a fake note he received and passed on unknowingly is not an effective way to deal with the problem of counterfeiting.

“It once again highlights the risks visitors to the UAE face from the country’s legal system, which has not been developed as fast as the skyline has.”

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