England’s Radio 1 has refused to comment on the arrest of one of its DJ’s, drum ‘n’ bass pioneer Grooverider (real name: Raymond Bingham). Grooverider was arrested in Dubai airport on November 23 for possession of cannabis and pornographic DVDs. Possession of drugs and porn are seriously illegal in the Islamic UAE Arabic State and carry a minimum sentence of four years in prison.
Since his arrest Grooverider has been detained without bail, a fact the promoter of the show he was due to play a sold-out show at The Lodge on the evening he arrived clearly stated to him in a fax before his departure.
It is also being claimed by Dubai based press that Grooverider had traces of drugs in his system after taking a urine test. This could weigh heavily against the DJ when his case is heard in the next few days. In 2006, R&B star Dallas Austin was also arrested in the UAE for bringing cocaine into the country. After lobbying from none other than Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie, who is immensely popular in Dubai, the star was released and deported.
Grooverider’s case may not be so simple with the lack of backing from his employers in the UK; however, it appears that the British Embassy have been in touch with the man who introduced millions of us to drum and bass via the UK’s primary radio station.
Words: Oliver Guy-Watkins