Love Island star Kaz Crossley says she ‘is safe’ in first post since release from Dubai jail
Love Island finalist Kaz Crossley has told fans she is ‘safe’ after being released from jail in Dubai where she was detained over alleged drugs offences.
The British reality star, 27, was held in custody by authorities in Dubai for four days after she was arrested at Abu Dhabi airport while transferring to a flight to Thailand.
She has described her ‘terrifying ordeal’ after she was jailed and left confused about why she was being held as there was no translator available to tell her.
In 2020, she was filmed appearing to snort lines of white powder in Dubai when hordes of influencers flocked there to escape Covid-19 restrictions in the UK, claiming they were there for work.
Miss Crossley told friends she was locked up with 30 other women in the prison in 30C heat, describing it as ‘the most terrifying experience of my life’, The Sun reported.
Love Island star Kaz Crossley was arrested and jailed in Dubai (pictured) on suspicion of drug offences
In 2020, Kaz was filmed appearing to snort lines of suspicious white powder while in the United Arab Emirates at the height of the coronavirus pandemic
Kaz was one of many influencers who had travelled to Dubai for ‘work purposes’ when travel was banned for UK citizens during the height of the lockdown in 2020
Miss Crossley thanked fans for their support in a post on Instagram following her release
The reality star has now been released without charge after being held in Dubai’s Central Prison and questioned about a video from two years ago in which the influencer, wearing an orange mini dress, was seen holding a nostril as she snorted white powder during a party in the city.
In a post on Instagram, she thanked fans for their messages of support but said she would not speak further about her experience for the time being.
She said: ‘I am safe, thank you for all your kind messages.
‘I want to take some time to reflect before I comment on the past few days.
‘Grateful for so much right now, we are so blessed.’
As authorities did not have a translator, Miss Crossley was left confused and frightened about why she was being held in prison.
She was only allowed to send a single email to a friend to tell her loved ones she had been imprisoned and was not allowed to take shower.
A friend said: ‘She’s very shaken up, the very worst thoughts were going through her mind.
‘You see stories of Brits being banged up for years and years in these countries over drugs issues.
‘She didn’t have drugs, but she had been associated with someone else police are looking into from a previous trip, and that’s why they arrested her.’
Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai, told MailOnline Miss Crossley’s arrest is a stark warning for expats and influencers who are flooding into the country.
An insider claimed ‘that her name obviously raised a red flag’ when her passport was checked in the UAE’s capital before she was arrested.
Her agent said on Friday: ‘Kaz has fully cooperated with officials and is free to continue her journey. Kaz was travelling through Abu Dhabi on her way to Thailand, where she was stopped by UAE police and 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.’
Inside the prison in the United Arab Emirates where the influencer was held for four days
Living it up: A picture of Miss Crossley posted on Instagram was captioned: ‘So clean when I pull up to the scene’
(File Photo) A policeman enters Dubai’s Central Prison in the United Arab Emirates where she was held
Ms Stirling added: ‘The case of Kaz Crossley highlights not only the emirates’ zero-tolerance policy towards narcotics, but more so the expansive licence granted to law enforcement in the UAE to arrest and prosecute individuals without substantial evidence.
‘It appears that Miss Crossley has been detained based solely on a video posted on social media. Yet the mere suggestion of illegal drug use in the UAE is sufficient for the emirati police and prosecutors to apprehend and very likely to convict her.
‘This is the sort of evidentiary and investigative hubris that has seen multiple foreign nationals imprisoned in the UAE, based exclusively on accusations by dubious informants or police bias.
‘British citizen Andy Neal, for instance, was falsely imprisoned for over a year on drug charges in the Emirates in 2018 without a shred of evidence. We have seen several other cases in which foreigners have been jailed for entering the UAE after consuming drugs legally in their home countries, after informants alerted police to screen them upon arrival for the presence of narcotics in their systems’.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘We are in contact with the local authorities following the arrest of a British national in the United Arab Emirates.’
Dubai has recently liberalised its drugs laws with first-time offenders given a minimum of three months in prison and a fine of between £4,559 and £22,799. Previously, offenders would have faced a minimum of four years in prison for any drug use.
After serving jail time, suspects are then deported to their home state and banned from returning to the UAE. Sentences for drug-trafficking can include the death penalty.
Last month, experts told MailOnline a record number of Britons could find themselves in a Dubai prison as a consequence of the decision to slash the cost of booze to lure in more tourists also being courted by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Human rights groups are predicting a culture clash in the Muslim Gulf.
The Detained in Dubai group believes thousands of Britons have been arrested and hundreds jailed in recent years due to the UAE’s strict and ‘highly contradictory’ laws.
Miss Crossley, whose mother is Thai, posted her last Instagram post five days ago when she took a short trip to Dublin.
Miss Crossley’s representatives have been contacted by MailOnline for comment.
Kaz Crossley and Josh Denzel made the final of Love Island 2018 – but their relationship didn’t last
Kaz shot to fame on the ITV2 show in 2018 and has been influencing online ever since
Miss Crossley was one of many influencers who had travelled to Dubai for ‘work purposes’ when travel was banned for UK citizens during the height of lockdown.
Just days before the video of her appearing to snort white powder emerged, Miss Crossley revealed she had purchased her second property: a new house in Manchester.
An army of British influencers and reality TV stars have been recruited to entice tourists from the UK to holiday in the UAE city, where the 30 per cent tax on alcohol was axed on New Year’s Eve.
Millie Court and Chloe Burrows from Love Island saw in 2023 in Dubai while promoting its bars, restaurants and businesses, sharing numerous videos on Instagram of them downing shots, dancing in clubs and sunbathing by pools as the tax changes came in.
If the 30 per cent tax cut is passed on, the price of drinking would be cut from around £12 per pint to around £8. A glass of wine would be around £6 and a cocktail around £10 – and would be even cheaper during the happy hours that are common in Dubai hotels. The cost of wine and spirits is already dropping in licensed shops.
Despite vehement denials, the ultra-conservative Saudi regime is also said to be considering allowing drinking for the first time – and is trying to diversify from oil by organising events such as major music festivals, including one last year marred by claims that women were routinely sexually assaulted.
Chloe Burrows downs shots and takes a dip in a private pool during her Dubai break in January
Chloe poses by a pool in the popular holiday destination, visited by 12million people last year. More are expected this year but human rights experts warn that more could fall foul of Dubai’s conservative laws
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is bent on securing the 2030 World Cup, using Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as ambassadors.
Dubai is the financial, trade and tourism hub of the UAE, a major oil exporter which has gradually loosened the shackles on drinking while using global stars and influencers to promote its image as the party capital of the Gulf.
Its hospitality businesses have already been praising the tax cut on Instagram, which is already full of posts of models, often scantily clad, drinking champagne or cocktails by a pool or a skyscraper balcony.
The state has a population of 3.3million and expats outnumber locals by at least nine to one, and the tax cut is likely to please many of them, including the huge group of Brits there.
More than 12million international visitors came in the first 11 months of 2022 – double the number in 2021 – but despite raving about the weather and luxury accommodation, there are often complaints about the price of alcoholic drinks.