2014 ,    »  -   26 Comments
Ratings: 7.82/10 from 67 users.

The glamorous lure of Dubai turns sour for an Australian couple when the downfall of the area's once booming real estate industry leads to the persecution of an innocent man wrongfully charged for alleged property fraud.

In 2006 accountant Marcus Lee accepted a job in Dubai with a large real estate development firm. He and his wife, Julie, relocated to the United Arab Emirates, building a new life in a seemingly vibrant and promising young city. However, in interviews with the Lees we learn that three years into their relocation, and while Julie was away on vacation, Marcus was approached by police and hauled off to jail without explanation.

For the first two months of his imprisonment Marcus was kept in solitary confinement, and subsequently shuttled between other area prisons - some so overcrowded he had to share a bed with his cellmate - before formal charges were brought against him for a crime he didn't commit. During his time in prison Lee suffered numerous health problems, including pneumonia. As his physical health deteriorated it was the support of his wife and her taking the risk to smuggle him medication that kept him alive.

When Marcus' imprisonment comes to an end, however, the ordeal is hardly over. Released on $300,000 bail, a sum that was devastating to the Lees' savings. Placed under house arrest and forced to surrender both his and Julie's passports, Marcus was still very much a prisoner of Dubai.

We discover that Australian company Sunland was responsible for the accusations against Marcus, and how they pitted their cutthroat lawyer against him in court. Marcus' appeals were often futile, with inconsistencies in Judges and weeks, even months, passing between hearings. Broke and isolated from their families, the dream the Lees had been chasing had devolved into a seemingly never-ending nightmare.

Trapped allows the Lees to tell their story after years of fearing that any criticism of the system that abused them would only result in further punishment. The emotional retelling of their torturous journey exposes Dubai's deeply corrupted legal system where transgressions as simple as bounced checks can land you in prison alongside serial killers.

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26 Comments / User Reviews

  1. vcragain

    Dubai is a slick looking city (waiting to be inundated by global warming?) - slick cities are ALWAYS dangerous places - but this story is beyond belief. That society is something for the West to avoid - get out of, keep away from. It is becoming apparent that the whole middle east is founded on middle-ages philosophy and rules - the West should be making sure we build a 'wall' around them and keep ourselves free of getting ensnared by their ideas.
    God help the world !!!
    I will be telling everyone I know to watch this film and make sure they never go to this place, even 'passing thru' is dangerous.


    I' would never go to a place where is no justice and where the justice system still in the barbaric middle ages

  3. ~Oliver B Koslik Esq

    I think that the broad questions at hand are:
    -How to identify and avoid the types of people that will "trap" others?
    -But also how to find those who do not wish to trap others?

    Personally I have been trapped in life by similarly minded criminals. But as well other people that (have themselves) been sucked into various "traps" laid out by someone else.

    Generally it is psychopaths, sociopaths, PD's etc
    that Monger & Perpetuate such "trappings".

  4. ameagher2 .

    I feel that the greedy people who invested in Dubai's stupid tourist industry deserve no compassion. Innocent or guilty of a crime, they are silly and greedy.

  5. SecretWay

    I hate Dubai!!!
    Big cities like NY, Paris, London..where built on Innovation, community.. free law.. liberty.. hard work... it got soul..justice

    Dubai is built in a country that is just terrible.. and terrible is not the right word.. it just sucks.. no matter how much money the oil rich people throw in.. and how tall buildings..
    NEVER EVER will i set my foot in a tyrannic place like Dubai.

  6. bringmeredwine

    I must admit that at the 40 minute mark my eyes were welling with tears.
    I think if it hadn't been for Julie, Marcus would have died in that dark stinking tomb, or during his first year of imprisonment.
    It's a miracle no one kicked in their door (under the direction of the lying psychopaths from Sunland) and "disappeared" the couple while they continued to fight for their freedom.
    You just never know what life is going to throw at you.

  7. Colleen Farrell

    REALLY poor quality audio; I couldn't sit through it. The music is very loud by comparison to the speakers. The narrator's and especially the interviewees' voices are not only soft, but sort of muffled, so I have to crank up the sound to hear them -- and then the music blares out at full volume. Irritating.

  8. Horst Manure

    Thousand's of years ago people went about thir lives only to be killed, harassed by others ...nothing has changed.

  9. Horst Manure

    The Philippine legal system is just as hopeless...never get mixed up with any of them at any cost.

  10. arcot

    Justice system applies to every aspects of human life,no matter where you are.. Whatever he went through is a horrific experience, so do the native Australians in Australia too.

  11. eishhappens

    Well, I feel sorry for him cause he was just a pawn in this game of fraud - the thing is money was smartly diverted - though marcus might be innocent, but the guy that was sentenced to 10 years knows more than he is letting on (nice nest egg waiting for him). Sometimes you just have to shine your eyes period so you dont be the fall guy. Such a harrowing experience. This really shouldn't stop any one from going to Dubai though just dont be the 'mugu'.

  12. eishhappens

    yea keep deceiving yourself.

  13. eishhappens

    Oh! get off your high white horse - audio not as bad as you are letting on.

  14. eishhappens

    But the west is greedy so they will keep coming.

  15. oQ

    I don't know where you live but if it's in a first world country, this same stuff happens all the time, same same but different path as they say.

  16. bringmeredwine

    Canada too. You're guilty till proven innocent, retaining a good lawyer will bankrupt you, and there are endless delays.....

  17. bringmeredwine

    I agree it's best to avoid these types.
    But sometimes sociopaths will target someone they've never even met.

  18. arcot

    Spot on. As you said "just never know what life is going to throw at you."

  19. KC

    Wow, a real life version of Kafka novel, The Trial.

  20. J.M.

    These people are heroes, most people would have ended their lives at some point. I can't imagine the pain they felt, the stress and agony.

  21. bringmeredwine

    I so agree with your comment. I'm guessing their love and loyalty for one another, and the love they felt for their families back home, had lots to do with why they kept going.
    No one can really predict how they'd react themselves, unless a crisis like this, happens to them. Some can be stronger than they ever thought was possible. (or could just say to heck with it and give up).

  22. Abamovich

    My first instinct the first time he was allowed to go free was GET THE HELL OUT NOW!!! Such a shame that they stuck around for two weeks only to get roped back in when the prosecutor decided to appeal. I would have been on the first plane home at that point. After what that system had done to them it would be no surprise to get drawn back in again. I think that is the worst part of their ordeal, they were told it was over, but then had to go through it all again.

    Also, can't get over how Downer helped only one of the prisoners (the one who stole the $7m, no doubt shared it with him) but not the other, and tried to say money had nothing to do with it, please, don't insult us.

  23. Menelion

    The same thing happened to me when I lived there (until early 2011) - but I knew I would get jailed for my security cheque bouncing for my car loan when my job was chopped (standard occurence with the sharia banking laws they have - medieval scumbags that they are), so we ran before they could jail me or block our passports (like many other 'skippers' as we are called).

    Unlike Marcus I knew what was coming and what would happen - I was very lucky as were my family.

    I am NEVER going back to the GCC - a DEEPLY evil place full of nasty people and their evil and corrupt systems

  24. Colleen Farrell

    My high horse is brown, not white! ;) I guess some of us are just more sensitive to bad audio. If it doesn't bother you, more power to you.

  25. Vonbrucken

    The Religion Of Peace!

  26. Courtney peterson

    My son has been railroaded by a bank there. They went against their deal and he is stuck with no passport and no way to earn the money to get it back. American embassy is of NO HELP

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