A former Conservative Party candidate was jailed and and held in Dubai for two years over a £2 ($2.60) taxi fare. Scotsman David Ballantine was incarcerated after a mix-up with a taxi driver in the UAE.
The 46-year-old maintains his innocence to this day, returned home a few years ago after a horrendous chain of events, which began in May 2013. He has only recently decided to break his silence on the ordeal.
It began when. along with a group of friends, he jumped into a state taxi. It was pulling away when they realised that not all of them were meant to be in the cab. They immediately asked the driver to stop.
The cabbie did so but demanded £2 for the use of his car so Ballantine agreed to go to get some cash from an ATM. He dropped the fare through the cab window and returned to his friends, Edinburgh Evening News reported.
But the driver did not realise he had been paid and accused Ballantine of cheating him. The fuming local then attacked Ballantine on the street.
Ballantine said: "He [the taxi driver] was waiting for me to pay and when he saw in his mirror that I had walked back to my friends, he reversed the taxi aggressively back to where my group was.
"He accused me of not paying. I told him I had, and showed him where it was. He claimed that was his own money.
"He was angry by now, and not wanting to admit that he could be wrong. The driver just became more and more hostile until he physically attacked me.
"At this point I became worried. I was in a fight, in Dubai, where I knew the law could be harsh.
A policeman approached them and arrested Ballantine without asking for his side of the story. At the station, the Brit still hoped to explain the mistake to the authorities.
He produced a time stamped receipt from the ATM and demonstrated how the money in his pocket was the value of the withdrawal minus the money that the driver had asked for.
It did not do him any good. His passport was confiscated and he was told he would stand trial. The legal proceedings were so dragged out that David was forced to sleep in hotel toilets, often feeling the violent wrath of security guards when they caught him.
Eventually, he was tried and found guilty in spite of his impeccable alibi. He was jailed for 69 days then fined and deported. Now he is trying to put his life back together in his native Edinburgh.