Chrisann Pereira: Actress released on bail in UAE drugs case

Family says Bollywood actress emotional after 25 days in jail and just wants to go home

Indian actress Chrisann Pereira has been granted bail after being detained by police at Sharjah airport. Photo: @chrisannpereira / Instagram
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Chrisann Pereira has been released from Sharjah Central Jail on bail, her lawyer and family confirmed.

The 27-year-old actress from Mumbai was detained by police at Sharjah airport on April 1 after authorities found drugs concealed in a trophy she was carrying.

Her lawyer in Dubai, Mohammad Al Redha, told The National, that the Indian actress had been granted bail and her passport deposited with Sharjah prosecutors until investigations are completed.

Chrisann told us, ‘I will be okay once I’m home.’
Premila Pereira, the actress's mother

“We applied for bail and the prosecutors accepted the bail,” Mr Al Redha said.

“Her passport will be held until the case is over, they asked for no other guarantees.

“She got bail as they have understood that she is not involved in any drugs case and approached the police to give information.”

A laboratory report on the quantity of drugs is due.

The Indian actress was allegedly duped by two men into travelling to the UAE for an audition of a “Hollywood” web series being shot in Dubai.

She said she was asked to carry an awards trophy minutes before the flight took off from Mumbai to Sharjah.

Her family said they were worried when no one met her at Sharjah airport, and they advised her to approach the police and report that she had carried the trophy from India.

Mumbai Police arrested the men, who had allegedly posed as talent scouts, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act after Pereira’s family filed a complaint.

'Chrisann was emotional'

The actress's mother Premila Pereira said the family were relieved she was out on bail.

“We have spoken to her, she is so happy,” her mother told The National from the family home in Borivali, Mumbai.

“Chrisann was emotional, in tears and says that she wants to set her feet down in India.

“She told us, ‘I will be OK once I’m home.’

“After 25 days in jail, she just wants to be back with us.

“I want to thank the authorities for granting Chrisann bail.”

The actress has acted in Hindi-language action thrillers such as Batla House and Sadak 2.

Mumbai Police said the two men, Rajesh Borate and Anthony Paul, had attempted to deceive four others into smuggling drugs into the UAE concealed inside trophies.

One of the men, Anthony Paul, knew the family and had demanded 8,000,000 rupees ($97,700) to secure Chrisann’s release in Sharjah, Mumbai Police said in a statement.

“Just before she took the flight, she was given a golden-coloured trophy that she was asked to carry as a memento,” Mumbai Police said.

“Sharjah Police arrested her at the airport and took her for questioning because there were narcotic substances in the trophy.

“After she was arrested in Sharjah, the men asked for 8,000,000 rupees to get her released.”

Investigations continue

Pereira’s lawyer said his client’s position that she was duped was verified by her actions.

Mr Al Redha said Pereira had completed the immigration formalities at Sharjah airport and returned to alert authorities about the suspicious package.

“She is not involved in any drugs and is innocent,” he said.

“When no one came to meet her in Sharjah on April 1, she sent a WhatsApp message to the talent man in India and was worried when she saw all earlier messages deleted.

“She checked with the hotel and there was no booking.

“She was very worried and called her family. She also sent a photograph to them of the trophy. They asked her to go to the police to report what had happened and explain everything about the suspicious trophy.

“She has been framed. We explained all this to the prosecution, of how she returned to speak to the police on her own.”

The lawyer said a meeting was scheduled for next week when the laboratory report on the drugs would be available.

“We will meet the public prosecution again on Monday,” Mr Al Redha said.

“Information about the arrests made in India has been forwarded to authorities here.”

In the UAE the penalty for personal possession and personal use of less than 20 grams is a fine or jail. Punishment for possession of up to 100g can be 10 years imprisonment and a fine of Dh100,000.

Possession of more than 100g would be considered drug trafficking and could result in a life sentence and a fine of at least Dh500,000.

Foreigners convicted of drug-related offences can be deported after serving a prison sentence.

Updated: April 27, 2023, 10:22 AM