US man acquitted of Dubai weapons smuggling charges

Shipping executive charged after authorities discovered 30,000 handguns in container
(Image for illustrative purposes)
By Claire Valdini
Wed 26 Sep 2012 11:40 AM

A US businessman facing weapons charges in Dubai has been acquitted of all charges and expects to be allowed to return home within weeks, it was reported.  

Steve Dolan, vice president for the shipping firm APL, and three colleagues were charged after authorities in the emirate discovered 30,000 handguns in a shipping container en route to Dubai.  

The container, travelling from Turkey to Djibouti, should have been carrying liquid soap but was loaded with both soap products and weapons.

Dolan said the container had not been offloaded in Dubai but switched to a different ship. He was forced to sign a confession in Arabic, evidence which was later thrown out.

The 57-year old businessman said media coverage in Dubai and at home had helped push for a speedy verdict.

“The media attention, especially after it got to the Dubai media, forced this decision rather quickly,” he told the Post-Dispatch.

Dolan said he expects to have his passport returned, allowing him to return to home within six weeks.

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