A truck driver popular on social media is on her way home after being detained in Dubai for ‘offensive behavior’ during a “common rental car extortion scheme.”
“She was told at the police station (Bur Dubai) that she has been accused of ‘shouting,’ which under the UAE’s laws is illegal under ‘offensive behavior,’ which is an unclear and subjective regulation, but warrants up to two years in prison, a fine and deportation,” said Radha Stirling, CEO of nonprofit Detained in Dubai, which helps people return home from situations such as Allen’s.
Stirling says that the rental car employee was trying to bully Allen into paying thousands of dollars she didn’t owe, which is what led to the confrontation. After being released on bail, Allen was not permitted to get the personal items she had left in the rental car, and noticed multiple fraudulent charges attempted on the credit card left in the vehicle.
Great News: Tierra Allen boarded a flight home to the United States today after police lifted her travel ban. She nearly didn't make it through airport immigration and thought she would be jailed but all worked out and Tierra is now relieved her nightmare has come to an end.…— Radha Stirling – CEO @detainedindubai (@RadhaStirling) August 8, 2023
“Tierra was living a nightmare and facing fines and lengthy imprisonment, until her case was brought into the spotlight of international media scrutiny. Without that attention, all too often, Emirati authorities pay little heed to due process, fairness, and human rights,” Stirling said.
“Tierra is the latest American tourist to get caught up in what is a common rental car extortion scheme. Rental car agencies are notorious for opening criminal cases against visitors with the promise to drop the case if they are paid off. The prevalence of blackmail is damaging to the UAE’s tourism and investment sectors and Dubai’s government needs to crack down on this abuse of process,”
The rental car employee who accused Allen of ‘shouting’ at him left the country for Pakistan after filing the police report, reported CBS News.
Allen is not permitted to return to Dubai by UAE authorities, but says she “was never thinking twice about coming back. I was so stressed every day.” She reportedly boarded a flight back home on Tuesday, August 8th.