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Dubai Rental Car Company Demands $10K from Texas Woman Detained In Country for Dispute Over Return of Her Personal Belongings, Claims She ‘Defamed’ Employee

Tierra Allen, a 29-year-old Texas resident who has been stuck in Dubai for several months is now facing another hurdle to return home.

 In April, she was accused of violating a local public decency law after an argument with a rental car company employee where she allegedly raised her voice. This accusation led to her being arrested and prohibited from leaving the country.

Woman Detained in Dubai
Tierra Young Allen, 29, has been stuck in Dubai since April 2023 after screaming at a rental car agent who tried to get her to pay an undisclosed cash fee to retrieve her ID and credit card. (Photo: YouTube/Fox26Houston)

Dubai authorities have rejected the initial claims and clarified that she was arrested for “defaming an employee,” according to United Arab Emirates paper The National.

The charges against Allen could result in a two-year prison sentence, and now the employee has filed a civil case seeking $10,000 in damages, according to Radha Stirling, a UK-based human rights advocate.

It all began when Allen and a friend were involved in a small accident with a rental car in Dubai. The rental car, with Allen’s belongings inside (wallet, phone, and passport), was returned to the rental office. When Allen requested them back, the rental company demanded thousands of dollars, which Stirling claims is a known scam in the area. This led to a verbal argument and the company reporting Allen to the authorities.

Sterling argues that authorities changed the woman’s charges.

“The authorities have concocted a new, but equally absurd, justification for her detention,” she said.

Allen’s mother, Tina Baxter, told the Insider that her daughter expects to retrieve her personal items from the rental car agency on Thursday, Aug. 3, and will attempt to smooth things over with the rental car company.

“She will also be having a meeting at the police department either today or later this week to try to reconcile with the rental car employee in hopes of getting the criminal case dropped,” Baxter said.

Stirling said in a press release that it’s common practice in the UAE for locals and permanent residents to file criminal cases against foreigners to drop the charges in exchange for money. 

“Tierra was not in the wrong in this scenario, she was being extorted and intimidated in a foreign country, and has been targeted by someone who knew how to game the system to his advantage,” she said.

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