A cast member of a popular reality TV show and social media personality was arrested at Abu Dhabi Airport yesterday over allegations that she previously consumed drugs in Dubai.
Former Love Island cast member Kaz Crossley had been transiting through Abu Dhabi on her way to Thailand when she was pulled aside by UAE authorities and transported to a Dubai prison.
The basis for the arrest and investigation is a video that was shot at a party in Dubai back in 2020, depicting Crossley openly consuming what appears to be cocaine. The video surfaced on social media a year later, and since then, the name of the social media personality who had since left the UAE was on the authority’s watchlist.
As The Independent reports, even transiting in Abu Dhabi was enough to have her name pop up and cause the local police to pull her aside and temporarily detain her.
Former Love Island star Kaz Crossley has been released from a Dubai jail after she was arrested on suspicion of drug offences while in transit through the country.
The social media influencer, 28, was reportedly arrested at Abu Dhabi airport on Monday (13 February) but has been freed after “fully cooperating” with officials.
Crossley’s representatives said in a statement: “Kaz has fully cooperated with officials and is free to continue her journey.”
They told The Sun that Crossley had been travelling through Abu Dhabi on her way to Thailand when she was stopped by UAE police.
Crossley was then “taken in for questioning in relation to a matter that is not directly related to her but officials felt she could assist in their enquiries”.
It has been reported by the influencer’s name was flagged up by UAE authorities, who are investigating a video of Crossley at party in 2020, after the footage emerged on social media in late 2021.
It was allegedly filmed in Dubai in November 2020, when a number of influencers flew to Dubai for work while the UK was in lockdown.
Following her arrest in Abu Dhabi airport, a source was quoted by The Sun as saying that Crossley was only “allowed to send just one email” and was not allowed to make a phone call.
“She messaged one particular friend whose email she could remember and asked her to inform her family that she was OK but had been arrested for drugs offences,” the source said. “The arrest wasn’t because of anything she had on her. As far as we know, it is all down to that video.” …
It sounds like a bunch of these “influencers” better avoid the UAE from now on which also includes transiting at the popular hubs Abu Dhabi and Dubai which are being used by Etihad and Emirates.
The entire situation is apparently based on a video filmed at an alcohol and drug-infused party in Dubai, which was an influencer haven while Europe was under Covid lockdown:
This Tweet shows what it’s all about:
If the Dubai police get a ‘sniff’ of this, Kaz Crossley is looking to get back to that love island prison life !
I say, let the girl snort in peace ffs 🤦♀️
PS who ever filmed this and sold it to the sun newspaper is the definition of trust issues ! pic.twitter.com/mGdSYTVaYg
— Mr B (@mrbhalili) December 5, 2021
This clearly shows a multi-faceted problem, namely that people underestimate the draconian laws on the books in the UAE that are only arbitrarily enforced. This includes the consumption of alcohol, which theoretically includes tourists and even airline passengers that transit through the UAE, and most especially, the consumption of narcotics.
I think it’s pretty obvious that the young woman depicted in the video isn’t playing around with baking soda.
Apparently, these videos surfaced way after the party attendees had left the UAE, and someone vindictive uploaded them to social media. Anyone with a bit of common sense would have avoided going anywhere near the UAE after this but whatever reason, that thought never entered the mind of this traveler who now found herself in the wheels of the UAE justice system.
Even though she was eventually released and allowed to continue on traveling (which was VERY lucky), who knows what she confessed to the UAE authorities and who is now implicated in their future investigations. She most likely snitched on any name that entered her mind just so they let her go, not that these people are likely innocent, either.
Plenty of her influencer friends now better reconsider their future travel plans and cross Dubai/Abu Dhabi off their list. Reconsidering their behavior concerning the flouting of the law in any country should be on the agenda as well.
Not every country handles drug use as cavalierly as western ones. Even those substances that are decriminalized in many western jurisdictions (such as marihuana) can land you a lengthy prison or even the death sentence in those countries with tough anti-drug laws.
Last month, John wrote about the simplified handling of alcohol in the UAE which includes a suspended alcohol tax and liquor licenses now being free-to-obtain for those eligible to legally purchase alcoholic beverages in Dubai:
As our article says, the licenses are still required but are now free to obtain. My suggestion would be to use this offer and get one of these licenses if you’re spending extended time in the UAE and plan on consuming adult beverages.
I’d be interested to actually try and document the process of getting one issued, but I’m rarely, if ever, in the UAE. Should I go back there for a few days, I’d do it just for the sake of an article.
It always boggles the mind how anyone can be stupid enough to consume, smuggle or even handle drugs in such countries, but each year there are plenty of cases in the media where the temptation to have a good time or make a quick buck is too much to resist for some foreigners. They are the first who then cry for help from their government.
In the case of the UAE, drug use is a big no-no, and even alcohol consumption officially requires a liquor license. Usually, this is conveniently overlooked for airline and transit passengers as well as tourists and expats who consume alcohol at hotels and nightclubs.
Dubai has a very lively party scene. It’s never a problem until it is, and the authorities decide to throw the book at someone who has fallen out of favor for other, unrelated reasons (including being drunk & unruly on board an aircraft). Then the hands-off approach suddenly changes to hands-on, which isn’t a pretty experience. In the best case, someone just gets deported from the country, the worst case ends up in a prison cell.