Edinburgh dad stranded in Dubai after £20 note ordeal set to return home

An Edinburgh dad who is stranded in Dubai while facing counterfeit money charges is expected to return home, according to a charity.
Billy Barclay and family on last year's trip to UAEBilly Barclay and family on last year's trip to UAE
Billy Barclay and family on last year's trip to UAE

Billy Barclay was facing up to a year in prison following the charges relating to a single £20 note - after being handcuffed and arrested in front of his family at Dubai International Airport. He was later released but left stranded in Dubai after officials confiscated his passport.

Today, Detained in Dubai, a charity, announced Billy had been promised his passport back.

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He is due to be escorted to Dubai International Airport in order for him to meet up again with his family.

Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, who is representing Billy, said: “The Ras Al Khaima tourism development authority telephoned me today to advise that they had arranged for Mr Barclay’s passport to be returned at 8.30pm local time this evening.

“Ms Frei told me that they would escort him to the airport and make sure he is back in Edinburgh, reunited with his family as soon as possible. She also advised that they would pay for his hotel bills.

“I have spoken with Billy and his family who are over the moon, relieved and excited that their ordeal has almost come to an end. They can breathe again.”

She added: “I am impressed with the swift response of the government, once the case was published.

“At the same time, the UK Government had advised against going public with this case. Without international support and publicity, Mr Barclay could have been detained for months, if not years, which has been the case with other British nationals.”

Billy was originally arrested on a family holiday last year while trying to charge £140 shopping money at a mall.

One of the notes set off the money detector and the police were called. Billy was interrogated for 12 hours while the couple’s hotel room was searched.