Two British teachers have reportedly been jailed in the Middle East for stealing dogs, but their families claim they were actually trying to rescue the “abused” animals.
The brother of Jennifer Green, 33, from County Durham, says she and a female friend have been detained in Oman for over a week and that he is “worried sick”.
They were working as English language teachers for the British Council in the capital Muscat when they were arrested.
Mike Green, 35, claims his sister, from Stockton-on-Tees, tried to save the dogs from being mistreated by their owner, who is said to have left them in the scorching heat all day.
He told The Sun: “She’s been locked up in prison for the last 12 days and because it’s Ramadan, nothing is happening.
“They’re just locked up there and they’re being held on trumped charges.”
He says the pair were accused of theft and then drink-driving and being publicly intoxicated, but adds that there is no evidence of this.
He added: “She believes that’s the reason why the judge is keeping them locked up.
“That’s why I’m trying to get out there as soon as possible to see what is going on.”
Mr Green is desperately trying to fly to Oman from New Zealand where he is on a business trip.
He claims the British Embassy is “very worried for them”, saying: “I spoke to one of their other pals who is also out there and she believes the authorities are trying to get them to admit to crimes they didn’t commit.
“I’m really worried and so is the entire family. Initially she was just brought to the police station but was let go.
“She phoned me when she was released and she didn’t seem too bothered about it at the time but it has obviously escalated since then.
“They keep adding on more charges which is making the entire situation so much scarier.”
Mr Green claims that his sister and her friend agreed to pay the dog owner £4,000 to drop the charges, but a judge “wanted to investigate the situation further” after claiming the pair must have been drinking.
A British Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of an incident in relation to two British teachers employed locally in Oman.
“We cannot discuss the details of an ongoing legal case and await the outcome of due process by the Omani authorities.”