Local George Cross hero Matt Croucher detained in Dubai on spying charges

A hero given Britain's highest honour for bravery has been reportedly accused of spying. It has been reported that Matt Croucher from Solihull has been held in Dubai for the past seven months.

The 40-year-old was arrested in the United Arab Emirates in November and had his passport seized, reports BirminghamLive. A report in The Times, claims UAE authorities charged him with intentionally and illegally accessing a telecommunications network in November, and he was prevented from leaving the country.

The former Royal Marine won Britain's highest honour for bravery, the George Cross, for throwing himself on an exploding grenade to save his comrades in 2008.

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Now working as a security consultant, it has been reported by his family to the newspaper that he was forced to sleep on the floor of an overcrowded prison, surviving on a diet of chicken and rice, his family told the newspaper.

In a statement, his said: "We don't understand why it's taking the Dubai authorities so long to process this case, a case we believe to be fabricated and absurd." Dubai officials reportedly obtained a warrant for his accommodation in the UAE, seizing an electronic device.

His friend has revealed that the device was used for security penetration testing as part of his day job. After being detained in jail for four days, he was subsequently released but put under ongoing investigation, with his passport and access to his bank account seized.

At the time of his arrest, Mr Croucher was reportedly returning home from work commitments in Qatar and Saudi Arabia in October and stopped in Dubai to catch up with friends.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office responded: "We are supporting a British man in the UAE and are in contact with the local authorities".

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