U.S. shipping executive acquitted in Dubai

Sept. 25, 2012 at 6:57 PM
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ST. LOUIS, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- A U.S.-born shipping executive in Dubai said Tuesday attention from the news media helped him win a speedy acquittal on weapons smuggling charges.

Steve Dolan, 57, a native of St. Louis and vice president for the shipping firm APL, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an email he has been unable to leave Dubai since February because his passport was seized. He said he and three other APL employees were charged after 30,000 handguns were discovered in a shipping container that was transferred between ships from Dubai en route from Turkey to Djibouti.

Dolan said he expects to get his passport back soon, allowing him to return to the United States within six weeks.

He said coverage of the case helped to get a quick verdict for the four defendants.

"The media attention, especially after it got to the Dubai media, forced this decision rather quickly," Dolan told the Post-Dispatch.

He said the process had been exhausting and he was appealing to his employer and the U.S. State Department for assistance.

"If I had to describe the feeling I'd say we are drained for a number of reasons," he wrote.

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