To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Man tortured at 'Dubai Alcatraz' and threatened with death by firing squad after going on lads holiday

Man tortured at 'Dubai Alcatraz' and threatened with death by firing squad after going on lads holiday

He was arrested after police found drugs in the boot of his hire car

When you head off on holiday with your mates, chaos is sure to ensue. But, you'd never expect to end up in a prison so brutal it's been dubbed 'Dubai Alcatraz.'

That's exactly what happened to council worker Karl Williams, after he was arrested while on a lads holiday.

In new BBC Three documentary, High: Surviving a Dubai Drugs Bust, Karl shares his story.

Shortly after the birth of his baby daughter, Faith, in July 2012, Karl decided to go on one last lads holiday to the UAE, where he'd previously lived for a year, before knuckling down as a dad.

He says: "I was 25, and the mission was just to have as much fun as possible for one last week.

"But when we arrived in the country, we were ready to show a bit of respect and be careful - living there I knew there was the Dubai they wanted you to see, and the one hidden in the sand."

The UAE is known for its strict laws on public intoxication and extra-marital sex.

However, things went seriously wrong when Karl and his two friends hired a car from a local they'd met on a night out.

Karl Williams was arrested while on holiday after Dubai police found drugs in the boot of his hire car.

When the vehicle was dropped off, they claimed they found a suspicious package in the boot, but were told that it was 'legal tobacco' and to hold on to it for the day.

Karl says: "If it had smelt like cannabis or looked like drugs, I would’ve been suspicious, but there was none of that - so we headed off.

"We were happy as anything having a lovely time - but when we stopped, someone pulled up and said he’d run out of petrol and was asking me for money.

"It was weird, but I handed it over. All of a sudden, I was dragged out the car and was being smacked around the face with a gun."

The package turned out to be a kilogram of Spice — a type of synthetic cannabis — and the attackers, plain-clothed police.

"I thought my life was over," Karl recalls.

The three friends were held at gunpoint while the officers ransacked their hotel room for drugs, telling them they were going to die and torturing them into giving confessing.

They were then bundled into a police van and moved to a detention facility, where they were labelled as drug traffickers.

Karl and his two friends were sent to a prison so intense it's described as 'Dubai Alcatraz' and were tortured in an attempt to make them confess.

They maintained their innocence, but their pleas fell on deaf ears, and Karl and friends spent months in prison receiving beatings and further torture.

The trio could have faced up to 25 years behind bars, but had a lucky escape when former Prime Minister David Cameron raised the matter during a state visit in April 2013. They were eventually pardoned.

Over a decade later, Karl has reflected on his time in prison.

"I suffered a mental health battle. I had PTSD and depression, and it was intense," he said.

"If I could go back and change anything, I just wouldn’t have got on that plane and gone to Dubai.

"I wish I would’ve just stayed at home with my baby girl."

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Crime, Documentaries, Travel, BBC, Drugs, UK News