Bounced cheque could land former Apprentice star Selina Waterman-Smith in a Dubai jail

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A former star of BBC1's The Apprentice says she faces the prospect of being jailed in Dubai after becoming the victim of a business partnership that went wrong.

Selina Waterman-Smith, who appeared on the show in 2015, told ITV News London her life has been turned into "living hell" because of a bounced cheque.

The 39-year-old claimed she had been the victim of harassment and extortion for nearly five years by a former business associate in South Africa.

She is now stuck without a passport, bank account and medical insurance.

"It is absolutely horrifying that a man who has a history - I already have a police complaint against him - that he can go and enter a false testimony without any evidence and cause this level of damage. It is terrifying.

"This entire case is preposterous and there is no evidence.

"And it just shows to me that when a man wants to abuse a woman he can do it."

The story began in Dubai 2018 when a working relationship broke down, Selina became an extortion target by a man who had promised to invest in her business.

When she was out of the country he went to a United Arab Emirates court claiming she owned him £27,000. In her absence the court sided with the man.

"The UAE is suppose to be a safe space for female entrepreneurs but what protec

tions are there in place for women like me when men seem to abuse me and the system."

With her passport confiscated Selina fears she could be sent to prison at any moment.

"Whatever he wants to do - there are just no consequences for him. So of course I am terrified because he has managed to get one case through the court with no evidence and cause this much damage to my life.

"How do we know what he is going to do next?"

For the campaign group Detained In Dubai Selina's situation is not new.

"This is an extremely common issue for for ex-pats in the UAE.

"The fact she had a judgement against her when she wasn’t there is extremely common and most people in that situation are arrested when they arrive back in the UAE and then they won’t have the opportunity to appeal.

"So it can leave people facing imprisonment without even being able to present their evidence in court.”

Selina said she had been left in “complete limbo” saying there was simply no help for women if something goes wrong in that part of the world.

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