Dubai Police make arrests after women appear naked in balcony video

Force said an unspecified number were detained and issued a warning to the public about spreading indecent images

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 16 APRIL 2020. Rain that fell overnight in Dubai with the possibility of ongoing showers during the day. A hazy view of the Dubai Marina canal. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: STANDALONE. Section: National.
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Latest: Dubai authorities to deport women involved in naked video shoot

Dubai Police arrested a group of people following an incident on the balcony of a Dubai Marina apartment.

The force on Saturday night said the arrests were made under laws covering lewd behaviour.

It came after footage was shared on Twitter of a large group of women posing naked on the balcony of a penthouse apartment.

Police said a "criminal case has been registered against the arrested, and they have been referred to Public Prosecution for further legal action".

"Dubai Police warns against such unacceptable behaviours, which do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society."

More than a dozen people, all women, were visible in the footage, which appeared to be a publicity stunt.

Officials said the penalty for engaging in lewd behaviour was up to six months in jail and a fine of Dh5,000.

Police gave a further warning about the making and publishing of "pornographic material" online.

Internet users risked breaking the law by spreading the video on social media or forwarding it on WhatsApp.

The laws can extend to members of the public who may forward or share and such images online.

"Any person who establishes, operates or supervises an electronic site and/or transmits, sends or publishes through an electronic site, gambling or pornographic materials shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine of not less than Dh250,000 and not exceeding Dh500,000."

Consular officials deny suspects are Russian

On Monday, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported that as many as 40 people had been arrested over the incident – and that eight of them were Russian citizens, citing Russian consular officials in Dubai.

Dubai Police said it had no comment on the number of suspects, or their nationalities, while investigations were ongoing.

In a statement to The National, Russia's consulate general said that the male cameraman behind the shoot, who is being held by police, is a Russian citizen – but denied any of the female suspects were.

Consular officials said although some of the women held at Barsha Police Station spoke Russian, they had confirmed to police officials that the suspects were not citizens of the Russian Federation.

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