Portsmouth South MP seeking help for man under arrest in Dubai

Steve Grant in Dubai
Steve Grant in Dubai
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PORTSMOUTH South MP Flick Drummond is seeking urgent answers from the government on what diplomats are doing to help a Southsea grandfather under arrest in Dubai.

Steve Grant has been unable to leave the country since being held at the airport in mid-April as he travelled to Oman in a bid to see his abducted grandchildren.

His family say they fear police and prosecutors are unnecessarily dragging their heels in investigating claims by the children’s paternal grandfather that Mr Grant threatened to kill him in phone messages.

The Foreign Office says it has given him advice but cannot intervene in another country’s police investigation.

Mrs Drummond said that she would write to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond today raising Mr Grant’s plight.

‘I am extremely concerned to hear what Mr Grant says has happened to him’ said Mrs Drummond. ‘I need to know exactly what consular assistance he is being given.

‘If necessary I will seek to ask questions in parliament about this case.’

Mr Grant, whose passport was seized by the Dubai authorities, has found accommodation with a friend of a friend as he awaits a decision by prosecutors.

His grandchildren - Aishah, 10, and Faris, seven - were abducted from their Portsmouth home by their father Usama Al-Barwani in 2012.

Al-Barwani is in jail in the UK after returning to Britain last November and continuing to defy a High Court order to return the children, who are now being cared for by relatives in Oman.

Lacey Plato, Mr Grant’s daughter, said her father’s arrest in Dubai has hit the family hard after the trauma of having Aishah and Faris snatched from them.

A police spokesman in Dubai confirmed that he was unable to leave the country until the matter was resolved.

‘Mr Grant has been seen and spoken to and everything is good now,’ the officer said.

‘He can leave where he is staying, only his passport is with the public prosecution department. There is no problem.

‘He cannot leave the country yet but next week we will check again and give an update then.’

Mr Grant wants the British Embassy in Dubai to do more to help as he waits for police to complete their inquiries.

The News has started a petition to help secure Mr Grant’s release. To sign the petition click here.