Charges against SA couple detained in UAE dropped

Johannesburg – The charges against a South African man and his fiancée, who were detained in Abu Dhabi, were dropped earlier this week, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation said on Friday.

“All charges against the couple have been dropped and they have been released. The family will arrange when they would return to South Africa,” spokesperson Clayson Monyela said.

Emlyn Culverwell, 29, and his fiancée Iryna Nohai, 27, originally from the Ukraine, were detained for more than a month in Abu Dhabi.

- Read more: 'Only thing they did wrong was fall in love'

They were arrested on January 29 when Nohai was taken to hospital with stomach cramps. A doctor at the Medeor Medical Centre in Yas Mall confirmed that Nohai‚ a Ukrainian national‚ was pregnant, and they were arrested at the hospital.

They faced charges of having sex before marriage - a crime in the United Arab Emirates.

Culverwell and Nohai had spent five years working at Yas Waterworld and lived in Abu Dhabi before their arrest.

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