Dubai Policeman who posed with Lionel Messi's passport on Snapchat is jailed
He joked: "Shall I burn the passport or just put it back?"
This is the strangest story we've heard in a while...and we can't help feeling a little sorry for the guy in question.
What was clearly a joke landed this unnamed, 26-year-old, Emirati policeman, who's been with the Dubai Police since 2007, in Dubai's Court of Misdemeanours last month. The update is he's now been found guilty and jailed for one month.
Here's how the story goes:
JM (as he's being referred to) was about to pull a sickie and hand in a two-day sick-note when he got wind of the footballer arriving at Dubai airport’s private jet area (where JM works) on December 27 last year.
It's claimed that he tried to get a picture with Messi...who was too tired to oblige, that's where things get funny/messy depending on your sense of humour:
JM says: “I then went to the passport control desk and noticed that Messi’s passport was left there, so I picked it up and shot a video of myself while holding it."
He posted the clip on Snapchat with the caption: “This is Messi’s, he is here in Dubai, what do I do? Shall I burn the passport or just put it back! Ok Ok you can go!”
We think it's pretty funny but others didn't see the funny side, the clip was later reported to police and JM was charged with violating Messi’s privacy, which he confessed to in court but said it was only a joke.
JM claimed he had permission from Messi’s bodyguard, who was standing next to the passport control desk: “He was standing there so I spoke to him in English and asked him if I could take a picture of myself with the player’s passport and he said yes,” .
JM deleted the post off Snapchat soon after and says: “I have no idea how it got circulated. I was just kidding and had never done this thing with anyone else before. I was wrong and I promise I would never repeat such a behaviour,”
In court, the defendant confessed to the charge and requested leniency. A verdict is expected later this month.
We say: He was just having a laugh!