A Tanzanian passenger on an Emirates Airlines flight from the Julius Nyerere International Airport in the capital city of Dar es Salaam was recently arraigned before a Dubai court, accused of kissing the airline’s American female flight attendant onboard.
The 42-year-old person who was traveling with a Tanzanian passport was apprehended and sent to a Dubai remand prison shortly after disembarking from the Emirates Airlines flight after the flight attendant informed the airport police that the person hugged and kissed her onboard.
Reports from Dubai which circulated in the Tanzanian capital city of Dar es Salaam Tuesday of this week said the person, whose name was not disclosed by the Dubai security operatives, was on a visit to Dubai when he hugged and kissed the American flight attendant against her will some weeks ago.
Prosecutors alleged that the person whose name was not disclosed and neither that of the complainant, had placed his arm around the flight attendant’s shoulders and kissed her against her will. They prosecuted him with a molestation offense.
They alleged that the passenger took the 25-year-old American woman by surprise and kissed her. She reported him to the police soon after the plane landed at the Dubai International Airport.
The suspect was cited as admitting to prosecutors that he talked to the flight attendant into taking a photo with him and when he kissed her neck, she got angry and yelled at him.
“We were flying back from Dar es Salam when the suspect asked to take a commemorative photo with me using the Emirates Airlines’ camera. While clicking the photo, he held his arm around my shoulders to hug me, but the chief flight attendant scolded him,” she told the Dubai police.
“He suggested clicking a selfie using his mobile phone. I stood beside him, and while he positioned his phone to click the photo, he hugged me and kissed my neck. I pushed him away instantly,” the American flight attendant testified to prosecutors. She claimed to prosecutors that the incident happened on a Dubai-bound trip when the suspect asked her for a photo.
The suspect was present before the Dubai Court of First Instance, but he failed to enter a plea due to language barriers as he could only speak the Swahili language, Tanzania’s lingua franca.
Presiding Judge Fahd Al Shamsi adjourned the hearing waiting for a Swahili language translator before the court reconvenes on July 24 of this year.
Tanzanian police and immigration authorities could not speak about the incident, because the Dubai prosecutors had not forwarded to Tanzania the charge sheet for action.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier operates a twice daily flight connecting Dubai and the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam.