Expat news roundup 13th August

Expat news roundup of all the news impacting expatriates this week. What’s been happening near you?

Expat news Dubai

Expats warned of the risk of eating, drinking and smoking in public during Ramadan

Expats in Dubai have been informed of a zero tolerance policy towards any expats in the region who are observed breaking the rules of Ramadan. Colonel Mohammad Nasser Al Razooqi, Deputy Director of the Criminal Investigations Department of Police Stations Affairs, told newspapers that anyone breeching the ban would face a month in jail or a Dh2,000 fine.

24 people have been jailed over the past three years for breeching the ban.

Two hour drinking ban for Dubai expats

Officials in Dubai have introduced a two-hour drinking ban between the hours of 4pm and 6pm in Al Barsha that is aimed at reducing expatriate drunken behavior.

Discussing the new ban, a police source confirmed that the rule would be strictly enforced: “officers without uniform are on patrol to see if the rules are being obeyed. If people are still serving we can shut the pub and hit them with a big fine.”

Source: The Telegraph

Expat news Panama

Panama expatriates on trial for murder of 5 fellow expats

US citizens William Dathan Holbert and Laura Michelle Reese are currently on trial in Panama for the murder of 5 expatriates in the country.

The couple, who are believed to have murdered their expat friends in order to acquire their businesses and property, fled Panama after the remains of two of their victims was found buried on their land.

Holbert, who is known as “Wild Bill” fled the United States six years earlier having sold a house he didn’t own. Prosecuting attorney Angel Calderon said: “He has told us how many people he killed, why he killed them, how he killed them and where he buried them.

“He picked out his victims after making their acquaintance, knowing that nobody would ask about them, he got rid of them.”

Upon arrest Holbert spoke to a local TV channel saying: “The people of Panama are very friendly, and I like living here.” When they questioned him about the deaths he replied: “I need to speak to them [the authorities]about that. I just want to say, thanks for the trip.”

Source: The Guardian

Expat news Saudi Arabia

Stranded Sri Lankan expatriates to receive help from home

41 expatriate workers from Sri Lanka have been left stranded in Saudi Arabia after a dispute between their employment agency and their employer left them without suitable accommodation and food. The expats had been promised work as cleaners at a hospital in Riyadh but an argument between the hospital and their agent has left them high and dry.

The Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau has stepped in and plans to repatriate the workers over the next few days. Commenting on the situation, Mr. Ruhunuge, assistant general manager of the bureau, told Arab News: “We cannot tolerate this situation for a long time. Either the sponsor has to give them employment or repatriate them home.”

Source: Expat healthcare news

Expat news Thailand

Expat jailed for life for hitman style murder

A British expatriate who was living in Pattaya, Thailand, was found guilty of the murder of a British housewife yesterday and sentenced to 32 years in prison.

Paul Cryne, 62, was found guilty of returning home from Thailand to murder the ex-wife of a fellow expatriate, Graham Birchwood, in return for a fee of 30,000 GBP. Birchwood was expecting a payment in the region of 450,000 GBP for his ex-wife’s death.

After the guilty verdict was returned, Judge Jeremy Roberts addressed Cryne saying: “He may be right in thinking that he’ll die in prison.”

Source: BBC

Expat news United Kingdom

Expats returning from the gulf may face credit issues

British expats who have been living and working in the Gulf may find that they are unable to obtain credit, Arabian Business has reported.

According to the online news service the current lack of data exchanged between UK credit agencies and the Gulf means that returning expats may be unable to provide a suitable credit record covering the time they have spent out of the United Kingdom. Discussing the problem, Neil Munroe, external affairs director at Equifax said: “There is no exchange of information at the moment between the domains and I am not aware of any discussion either.” He added that he believed this situation was certain to impact an individual’s ability to access credit.

Source: Arabian Business