Albert Douglas is pictured above
A millionaire British businessman fears he will die in prison in Dubai after being jailed over business debts run up by his son.
Albert Douglas, 60, has fought a £1m legal battle to prove he was not liable for money owed by his son Wolfgang’s business.
And he became so desperate at one point he dramatically attempted to escape the country into neighbouring Oman – but was arrested as he tried to climb a border fence and hauled off to prison.
The grandfather has since spent two months in a ‘hell hole’ jail where he claimed he was beaten by guards when he asked for his heart medication.
And Albert, who once was so prosperous that he lived in a luxurious villa on the Palm Jumeriah Island and drove a Rolls Royce, has now been given a further three-year prison sentence.
He says his only ‘crime’ had been to be listed on legal documents of the flooring company his son had set up in 2007.
Under Dubai law anyone linked to a company that owes money can be found liable for their debts – and family members are often pursued for payments.
Albert with his son Wolfgang
Because Wolfgang, 34, was back in Britain when the company got into trouble, creditors took Albert to court and won a judgement against him instead.
Speaking from Bur Dubai prison, he told MailOnline: ‘I fear that I will not get out of here alive.
‘I am innocent and being made to pay the penalty for the debts of my son. I would not wish this on my worst enemy.
‘I had nothing to do with the company other than my name being on the documents when it was founded.’
Wolfgang said: ‘Through no fault of his own my father has been financially destroyed and penniless, locked up and treated worse than an animal in a cage in horrific conditions.’
Albert and his wife Naomi emigrated to Dubai in 2003 and he built up a successful business called Alomni Flooring, specialising in real wood floors.
During the massive property boom in the United Arab Emirates, as hotels and holiday homes transformed the country into a top tourist destination, his company thrived.
Father of four Albert lived a luxury lifestyle and persuaded his eldest son Wolfgang to move to Dubai from his home in London.
Albert is pictured at the wedding of his daughter Abigail in 2009
Albert Douglas is pictured above. Douglas, 60, has fought a £1m legal battle to prove he was not liable for money owed by his son Wolfgang’s business
Wolfgang started the company TimberWolf and his father was one of the signatories on the business. The business relationship ended in 2018 when Albert gave up any involvement.
But a year later when Wolfgang returned to the UK for medical treatment and cheques written to suppliers began to bounce, creditors launched legal action and filed claims against Wolfgang and his father.
Wolfgang attempted to solve the problems from the UK as he knew he would be arrested if he returned to Dubai over the money owed.
Albert, who has heart problems, was arrested in September 2019. A court found him liable for his son’s debts and imposed a three-year sentence. Albert was also ordered to pay £2.5m in fines.
Albert Douglas pictured with his two sons Wolfgang and Albert Douglas
He was given bail while appealing against the sentence and spent more than £850,000 on legal fees protesting his innocence.
But after his appeal failed in February, fearing he would be jailed, he decided to attempt to flee Dubai by crossing the border with Oman.
He paid a people smuggler to take him to a remote border crossing but was arrested before he could escape.
Albert was taken to the notorious ‘hell hole’ Al Ain prison in Dubai where he was held for two months and claims he was beaten by guards.
After serving the sentence he was taken to the Bur Dubai jail where others convicted of financial crimes are held and given a three year sentence .
Douglas pictured wtith his grandchildren. He has spent two months in a ‘hell hole’ jail where he claimed he was beaten by guards when he asked for his heart medication
His family fear for his health and have begun a campaign to get him released enlisting the help of pressure group Detained in Dubai.
Founder Radha Stirling said ‘Albert had nothing to do with his son’s company. He is being held as hostage to force his family to pay for his son’s company’s liabilities.’
Wolfgang said the family has been torn apart and he is desperate for help.
‘My father has lost everything and from being a wealthy business owner and property investor had been totally stripped of his assets and dignity for no reason,’ he said.
‘He did not commit any crime. He has now been engulfed in an unending onslaught of cases that stack up each day and that he cannot defend or remedy from jail.’
Family members have launched a Facebook page to raise awareness of Mr Douglas’s ordeal.