Two tourists from the United Kingdom have found themselves in a “complex criminal investigation which could see them stranded in China for up to a year.”
The women, Mary Idowu and Esther Jubril-Badmos, travelled to Guangzhou for a week of shopping in June when they were involved in an altercation with a vendor over a 500 RMB deposit paid for what they claim turned out to be counterfeit slippers. Idowu, 59, and Jubril-Badmos, 48, allege that they were then assaulted by staff of the shop.
Both Britons were detained for “provocation and disturbance of peace,” and after 32 hours of interrogation they were sent to a local detention centre. After six weeks, the police indicated it was civil matter, but despite paying the shopkeeper 45,000 RMB to settle the case, cancelling their bail has been refused.
As the bail’s cancellation is a requirement to exit the country, the two are now stuck in China until the criminal investigation is complete — which could take up to a year. Malcolm Moore, from the Telegraph, quoted Jubril-Badmos as saying, “I have a five-year-old daughter at home who does not understand why her mother has abandoned her. My world has collapsed.”
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