Andrew Neal photo4 130219 CREDIT Neal's family

Former British Soldier Acquitted Of Drug Charges In UAE

The former soldier was arrested on drugs charges in October 2018.

Andrew Neal photo4 130219 CREDIT Neal's family

Andrew Neal served in the British Army for 24 years (Picture: Detained in Dubai).

A former British soldier has been acquitted of drugs charges after being detained in the United Arab Emirates for more than a year, his representatives have said.

Andrew Neal, who served in the British Army for 24 years, was accused of selling drugs and was arrested in October 2018.

He always insisted he was innocent. 

Despite his representatives saying evidence uncovered by police proved he did nothing wrong, Mr Neal spent months in a Dubai jail, before being transferred to a prison in Abu Dhabi.

Campaign group 'Detained in Dubai', which has been representing the Neal family, said the arrest was part of a large-scale police operation against a "suspected drug syndicate".

His representatives said Mr Neal denied the charge and that he had been "wrongfully detained".

Andrew Neal photo3 130219 CREDIT Neal's family
Andrew Neal spent months in a Dubai jail, before a transfer to a prison in Abu Dhabi (Picture: Neal Family).

Police searched Mr Neal, his car and apartment, but found no trace of substances - neither in his possession, nor in his bloodstream, according to a Detained in Dubai statement.

13 months after his arrest, he has now been acquitted by a court in Abu Dhabi after authorities identified the dealer whom Mr Neal had been accused of being.

Detained in Dubai's founder, Radha Stirling, said: "It is unacceptable.

"Andy served Britain for over 20 years in the armed services, he has already been exposed to severe trauma in war zones around the world and suffers from PTSD.

"What the UAE justice system has done to him will last far beyond this past year of wrongful detention, and these kinds of legal abuses need to stop."

Andrew Neal before being arrested 121119 CREDIT DETAINED IN DUBAI.PNG
Andrew Neal prior to his arrest (Picture: Detained in Dubai).

The 44-year-old served part of his time in the Army as a dog trainer and handler.

Mr Neal moved to Dubai with his wife and two children in 2015 where he is believed to have worked as a dog trainer.

Mr Neal's release is expected to take place in the coming days.