What about Grooverider? 4 Years in a Dubai prison!


Being as I am a “techno producer” and travel around to different countries to perform the Grooverider story grabbed my attention. Grooverider who’s real name is Raymond Bingham is from London and is known for Drum & Bass. Here’s what happened:

On 24 November 2007 Grooverider was arrested at Dubai International Airport for possession of 2.16 grs of cannabis, hours before a sold-out show at superclub The Lodge. He claimed he had forgotten it was in a pair of his trousers. On the 19 February 2008 he was sentenced to four years imprisonment followed by immediate deportation. – Wikipedia.org

There are two obvious reactions to this story. First, you have to think, “What an idiot to travel to a Muslim country with drugs on him.”. Second you think, “4 years in jail for a small amount of weed. Dubai is a nasty place!”.Dubai

I’ve been throughly searched countless times. I remember in 2001, back in “messy” times. I performed in Amsterdam with a friend of mine who will remain nameless. I’ll admit we were both pretty wasted after the show to the point we changed our flights back to New York to leave two days later. The last night I finally wanted some sleep but he went out again. He borrowed my jacket for some reason. A week later back in New York I went out and discovered a full bag of cocaine in my jacket pocket. I wore that exact jacket from Amsterdam to New York! Imagine I was flying to Dubai? Whenever I tell an old drug story I like to point out that I’ve been sober more than a few years now (applause please).

There is an online petition to get Grooverider out of jail: click here
More info on Beatportal: click here

So what do you think? Did he deserve it? Would you ever touch ground in Dubai?

photo credit: Daniel Heaf and pbo31

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to: thehorrorist.com

12 thoughts on “What about Grooverider? 4 Years in a Dubai prison!”

  1. I’d love to go to Dubai. My wife is in architecture and Dubai is really one of the leading cities in that field right now. I think in somewhere like London you can’t do anything vaguely innovative, architecturally, but in Dubai they’re happy for any crazy-ass development to take place as long as the $$ is right. So it would be quite amazing to see…
    But 4 years for 1 strike is incredibly harsh…
    Amazing story about the jacket though! I bet you would’ve had a heart attack if you discovered it going through security *ignorance is bliss*

  2. Sad and shocking…It’s a big deal for dnb enthusiasts since he was a major pioneer in drum and bass…Imagine if some techno pioneer guy (insert name) got taken in for the same thing…Socially retarded nation.

  3. The sentence does sound harsh but it is a foreign country, you have to respect their laws. Sucks for him but what is he doing travelling with drugs anyway, Im sure where ever he goes he can get some from whom ever he deals with when he arrives.

  4. It’s sad..

    Sorry Grooverider ..I feel 4 ya.. but c’mon..weed in a Arabic airport…

    I learned never carry evidence on you nevertheless in a fucking airport! Where in the states its the difference between a federal and state prison committing a crime in an airport.

  5. Good news! DJ Grooverider was pardoned by the government today! I came into Dubai through Amsterdam. I can only wonder how much pot was embedded in the treads of my shoes.

  6. Man don’t even think about what ifs… If by chance you been so “carelessly” flying to Dubai with “that exact jacket”, you would have either got a death sentence or have it reduced to life in prison !!! and this is not Bullshit… I just happen to know stories of this kind. The thing behind all of it is the fact that the ruler (Sheikh) there got sick of drugs spreading in schools… and he himself made these rules. Dubai, London or Amsterdam… Don’t misunderstand me but I just don’t understand how people fly without even checking their own pockets before it :)

  7. Hi Born in Dubai. I agree… if going anywhere by flight: check everything anyway. Personally I think it’s good to keep kids away from drugs but the punishment has to fit the crime.

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