APL veteran executive Steve Dolan is being held by Dubai authorities over an alleged shipment of smuggled weapons last fall, an allegation he denied to his hometown newspaper over the weekend.
Dolan, a vice president and managing director for APL, told the St. Louis Post-Distpatch
that he and three colleagues (two from Sri Lanka and one from India) have had their passports confiscated as a result of an ongoing case, which is said to involve a container transported from Turkey to Djibouti via Dubai that contained 30,000 knock-off handguns.
Dolan, 57, said he was questioned in February by police in Dubai, where he has lived for the past two years. He told them he manages operations in the region for APL, but new nothing of the specifics of the container that allegedly held weapons. He said he was then forced to sign a document in Arabic that turned out to be a confession (though Dolan reportedly also scrawled next to signature that he had no idea what the document said).
“A panel of judges heard his case earlier this month and a verdict is expected soon,” the newspaper reported. “If found guilty, he could face up to 50 years behind bars.”
“We had nothing to do with this,” Dolan told the newspaper by telephone Saturday.
He said he suspected he and his colleagues are being made an example of by Dubai authorities keen to show an intolerance toward weapons smuggling through the trade-dependent emirate. Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port is the biggest in the region and one of the busiest ports in the world, having handled 13 million TEUs in 2011.
Dolan’s cousin is Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York.
APL was not immediately available for comment Monday morning. - Eric Johnson