Sun, 9 October 2022 at 7:31 pm·4-min read
A British father-of-three was arrested in Iraq as he arrived to start a new job and faces being extradited to Qatar where he could face two years in prison.
Engineer Brian Glendinning was arrested when he arrived at Basra airport last month to start a job at a BP oil refinery.
The 43-year-old, from Kincardine, Fife, is now facing extradition to Qatar, where he is accused of owing a debt to Qatar National Bank.
Glendinning’s family have launched a campaign to bring him home and are trying to raise £40,000 to fund legal fees to help get him released.
They said the construction engineer took out a £20,000 loan from the bank in 2016 while he was working in Doha, but struggled to keep up the monthly repayments after he lost his job due to ill health.
He was sentenced to two years in prison in 2019 for not repaying the loan, but his family say he had no idea.
He was arrested and detained on an Interpol Red Notice from Qatar when he arrived in Iraq and later appeared in court where a judge ordered him to be transported to Baghdad.
He has been in jail in Baghdad since 25 September while he awaits a further court hearing.
His family fear he will be extradited to Qatar where he would face two years in jail but are hoping Qatar will drop the case, given the forthcoming football World Cup.
Glendinning’s father John, 64, said: “Brian took a job in Doha in 2016 as an engineer so he opened a bank account up.
“He met a bank salesman at his hotel who sold him a loan for £20,000.
“Brian had been making repayments on the loan but he had to take some sick leave as he was struggling with his mental health.
“He wasn’t able to go back to work and his contract was terminated.
“When Brian flew into Basra airport because he was due to start a new job at a BP oil refinery, he was immediately arrested and detained.
“He appeared in court a few days later but the judge ordered him to be transported to a prison in Baghdad which is where he is now.
“He arrived there on September 25 and is still waiting to appear in court.
“We are already £30,000 in legal fees, I gave £6,300 and I sold my car.
“The biggest fear is that he will be extradited to Qatar but we are hoping with the World Cup coming up they will decide to just cut ties with Brian over this.
“If he is extradited they will jail him for two years and then insist he pays the remainder of the loan, but they will add loads of interest.
“If he couldn’t pay it they would just keep hold him in prison and make him work to pay it off.”
Interpol expert Radha Stirling, founder of IPEX, who is working with the family to get Glendinning home, said: “The bank deliberately activates wrongful Interpol Notices as a debt collection tactic akin to extortion.
“They wait for a customer to be arrested and hope the parents will dispose of assets and pay the debt themselves.
“The bank usually asks for substantially more than what was owed, knowing parents will pay anything to keep their children out of jail.
“It works for them but makes a mockery of Interpol and extradition courts.
“It’s a human rights issue and clearly highlights Qatar’s intimate relationship with Interpol.
“With the World Cup coming up, Qatar should be mindful of rights attacks towards foreigners.”
The family’s GoFundMe page to raise funds for legal fees can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-brian-from-qatar-jail?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer.
A Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) spokesperson said: “We are providing support to a British man who has been arrested in Iraq and are in touch with the local authorities.”