A dad-of-three is facing prison time in Qatar after being detained over an unpaid debt in the country.
Brian Glendinning was arrested at Basra airport in Iraq in September after travelling to the country to start a job at a BP oil refinery.
According to Glendinning's brother, John, the 43-year-old got the £20,000 loan from a bank salesman at his hotel in order to open up a bank account while working in the country.
He sought to pay back the money in monthly instalments, but he later became sick and lost his job, leaving him struggling to keep up with the payments.
John explained: "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."
In 2019, Glendinning was sentenced to two years in prison over failure to repay the loan - but he apparently was not informed of this sentencing at the time.
Authorities in Qatar issued an Interpol Red Notice for the dad, but it was only when he arrived in Iraq last month that he was arrested and later appeared in court, where a judge ordered him to be transported to Baghdad.
Glendinning, from Kincardine, Fife, is now facing extradition to Qatar as his family rush to raise the £40,000 needed to bring him home.
John commented: "When my dad called and told me the news I broke down, he’s my big brother and my best friend so I was absolutely terrified. It was so scary because I knew I couldn’t just get on a flight and go to see him.
“The first time we spoke it was very emotional, it was hard because I could tell he was scared. It’s just awful, everyday you wake up thinking this can’t be real but it is.”
Glendinning's family is already facing legal fees of £30,000, with John explaining that he has already spent £6,300 and sold his car to help cover the costs.
“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," he explained.
“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.”
The family is now working to try and get Glendinning home with the help of Interpol expert Radha Stirling, who claimed that Qatar National 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," Stirling said. "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."
Stirling advised Qatar to 'be mindful of rights attacks towards foreigners' as the World Cup prepares to kick off there in November.