Grooverider Arrested in Dubai PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 February 2008 14:14
Not new news, but if you didnt know Rave legend Grooverider is facing a 4 year Jail sentence after being arrested in Dubai

Grooverider, a Radio 1 DJ, is facing the possibility of a four-year prison term in Dubai after police arrested him for allegedly carrying cannabis and pornographic DVDs into the country.


Grooverider – whose real name is Raymond Bingham – was arrested at Dubai airport on November 23, hours before he was due to play a sold-out show at The Lodge, one of the Gulf state’s hottest clubs. A small amount of cannabis was reported to have been found in his record collection.

The 40-year-old DJ, who co-hosts the weekly BBC drum-and-bass programme Fabio and Grooverider, faces four years in jail or deportation if he is found guilty.

His case is causing huge controversy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where strict laws rooted in conservative Islam sometimes clash with the liberal values of its expatriate citizens and the millions of tourists who visit every year.

Drugs and pornographic material are strictly banned in the UAE.

There have been several cases of foreigners serving years in jail after being found guilty of trying to smuggle even small amounts of drugs into the country.

Although Grooverider is known primarily as a DJ and presenter, he is also a recording artist under his artist name and the “Codename John” moniker. He also runs one of the most prestigious drum-and-bass imprints: Prototype Recordings. Local legal experts said that the high profile of Grooverider made the issue an important test case for local authorities.

Ram Nath, the music promoter who organised the show, said that he warned Mr Bingham of the strict laws of the country before his departure from London.

“I sent a fax to him explaining all of our laws, including what he could and could not bring into the country. Unfortunately, he was booked by police before he got out of the airport,” Mr Nath said.

More than a thousand fans were left disappointed after paying £25 for a ticket to the show, according to Mr Nath.

He plans to sue Mr Bingham’s London management company for losses. The BBC has declined to comment on the case.

“This is the first time anything like this has happened to a celebrity in Dubai, so everybody’s talking about it,” Mr Nath said.

The local press has quoted police sources as saying that traces of drugs were found in Mr Bingham’s urine in laboratory tests by police examiners.

Consular officials from the British Embassy in Dubai have been in contact with Mr Bingham, an embassy official confirmed.

His case has been referred to the Dubai criminal court, with his first hearing to be scheduled in the coming days.