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The drama-documentary series that tells the gripping real-life stories of travellers detained overseas returns for a new run. The first episode recounts the dramatic tale of Scott White, a young man whose party lifestyle in Kuwait of the late 1980s resulted in him being arrested for drug dealing. Sentenced to five years in jail, Scott’s eventual salvation arrived in the unlikely form of Saddam Hussein, whose invasion of Kuwait offered him the chance to make a daring escape.

In the late 1980s, Scott White was living in Kuwait City with his father, a wealthy doctor. Nineteenyear- old Scott was enjoying the best party lifestyle his father’s money could buy. He was part of a group of privileged ex-pats who ignored the Muslim laws of the land by installing bars in their bedrooms and brewing their own booze. Scott had a particular penchant for hashish, which his friend, Ali, would score for him from the Bedouin tribesmen out in the desert.

Scott seemingly had it all – a fast car, a gorgeous girlfriend and a great life. Then, one day, a new lad tried to become part of their scene. Talal was a Kuwaiti teenager, a ‘friend of a friend’, who nobody particularly liked as he used to flirt with their girlfriends. He wanted Scott to get him some hashish. Scott initially resisted, but Talal was so persistent that he gave in to get him off his back. It was to be the biggest mistake of Scott’s life.

Scott ordered 250g of the finest hashish from their Bedouin Arab supplier – the biggest chunk of hashish he had ever seen. It may have been his first ever deal, but Scott decided to try and make some extra cash by heating it up, flattening it out and cutting it in half. He slipped one half into the knickers drawer of his friend, Jenny, and with his partner in crime, ‘Slick Nick’, slipped away from one of their parties to pass the goods on to Talal.

The drop was nerve-wracking and Scott realised that the life of a drug dealer was maybe not for him. He was relieved to be back at the party – but that relief was short-lived. Talal appeared at the flat, followed by a squad of armed policemen who smashed down the door and arrested Scott and his friends. It was a moment that changed Scott’s life forever.

Scott and his pals were taken to a Kuwaiti police station where they were held for ten days. During that time Scott’s friend, Ali, was tortured until he revealed the identity of the Bedouin Arab, who was then brought in and also tortured. Scott was only spared the punishment because the police already had their man, and because he was British. Instead, they told him he could serve up to 25 years in prison.

Scott confessed to everything and was visited in jail by Talal, who had told him that he was forced to point the finger at him because he had been caught smoking. To this day, Scott does not know if this was the truth or if Talal was a police informer.

With his friends released, Scott was taken to Kuwait Central Prison to begin his sentence. While in jail, Scott was officially sentenced to five years but without the prospect of parole or time off for good behaviour. In his first year, he suffered a breakdown after his girlfriend, Lisa, ended their relationship. Fortunately for Scott, things took a dramatic turn for the better during his second year of incarceration – when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

During the confusion, Scott and his fellow cellmates were able to escape through a hole in the wall of the prison. After trekking through the desert he was picked up by a Sudanese family and made it through the Iraqi checkpoints. Reunited with his father in Kuwait City, the two of them fled through Saudi Arabia and made it back to the UK.

Nearly 20 years later, Scott runs his own business outside of London. He has two children and is married… to his former girlfriend, Lisa.

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  • Anonymous

    My 14 year old son had a similar experience of being ‘set up’ in Kuwait by a pseudo-cop. We got ‘wasta’. We learned to made strong friendships with the Kuwaitis.

  • Anonymous

    For Scott White, if you are ever able to read this comment. What I found most interesting is the Awakening that happened for you in your darkest hour. A moment like that is a gift and has probably stayed with you.

    Jenn

  • you know who

    Hi Scott !
    Remember me , the guy from europe who was living in your cell for a year (block 5)than I had to move to block 6 because it was getting to crowdie. What a trip after all these years see you on screen. I m very thankful for all the books I could read from you, that did save my boredom. You where a nice kid and it is unfair that you stayed so long in prison (no wasta and another one bites the dust,ah?).
    Sadly they left Saud out of the story,(they guy Ali fucked)remember?
    How many days did the cops bit the shit out of that bedouin, but he never gave the name of his source away. Listen I am since many years clean and do not even drink now a days (get stone on yoga,ok?)

    send my love to Lisa

    • Fleece Johnson

      Do you know what ever happened to the Chinese murderer?

  • you know who

    Hi Scott !
    Remember me , the guy from europe who was living in your cell for a year (block 5)than I had to move to block 6 because it was getting to crowdie. What a trip after all these years see you on screen. I m very thankful for all the books I could read from you, that did save my boredom. You where a nice kid and it is unfair that you stayed so long in prison (no wasta and another one bites the dust,ah?).
    Sadly they left Saud out of the story,(they guy Ali fucked)remember?
    How many days did the cops bit the shit out of that bedouin, but he never gave the name of his source away. Listen I am since many years clean and do not even drink now a days (get stone on yoga,ok?)

    send my love to Lisa
    azzpa@hotmail.com

  • tsukamareta

    Scott,

    I was wondering if you were ever able to find the Sudanese family that transported you after you escaped from prison? And what happened to the Chinese murderer? Finally, the re-enactment shows you smiling at the Iraqi guard . . . was that accurate?

    Tsukamareta

  • tsukamareta

    Scott,

    Have you written any memoirs or any books at all after your Kuwaiti experience? If so, where can they be purchased? Your story was an inspiration for me.

    Tsukamareta

  • Anonymous

    Hi Scott,

    Im sorry to hear about what you went thru; I’m an Egyptian and I live in the States. Kuwait is a much different place now. Please get in touch with me.

    Thanks & Best Regards

  • Anonymous

    Hi Scott
    Im sorry this happended to you; you seem like a great guy.

    Please do get in touch with me; I’m interested in finding out more about you; I’m an Egyptian/American.

    Best Regards to you.

  • Celeste

    Wow! What a gripping episode. I wonder if anyone has considered making a movie out of this story. What a strong person Scott turned out to be, someone to be admired as he strove to make the best of a horrific situation. I too am wondering what ever happened to Ali and the Chinese murderer. Also, I thought the real Scott was much cuter than the boy they chose for the re-enactment. Finally, the whole time I was watching I just had this strange feeling that Scott was going to end up with Lisa and was so thrilled to find out that he did. What a great guy.

  • Heena Sharma

    Dear Mr. White.. how are you?

    i saw your program yesterday on National Geographic Channel. it was so horrible and tormenting to see an innocent boy , being caught in a whirpool of kuwaiti laws. im very happy for you Mr white that finally you got the love of your life lisa back. All is well that ends well. How has been your life after that horrendous experience? i think the scars of your past experience still disturb you in the present.
    wish u all teh very best for your life ahead.
    warm regards
    Heena Sharma
    New Delhi
    India

    • Kevin Bastardboy

      re “an innocent boy , being caught in a whirpool of kuwaiti laws”
      LOL selling this quantity of hashish is also illegal in his home country UK , and every other country in the world – can hardly claim he “didn’t know”
      he KNEW it was illegal, why he didn’t really want to do it he said
      in some countries like Indonesia, China, or Singapore & some middle eastern/Islamic countries (e.g. Iran() he might have got death penalty

  • Heena Sharma

    Dear Mr. White.. how are you?

    i saw your program yesterday on National Geographic Channel. it was so horrible and tormenting to see an innocent boy , being caught in a whirpool of kuwaiti laws. im very happy for you Mr white that finally you got the love of your life lisa back. All is well that ends well. How has been your life after that horrendous experience? i think the scars of your past experience still disturb you in the present.
    wish u all teh very best for your life ahead.
    warm regards
    Heena Sharma
    New Delhi
    India

  • anonymous

    dear scott, i just saw your episode on tv and im so glad you got away. your story was very powerful and moving. i recently have found religion and it is helping me threw some tough times. i was wondering if you could share that prayer with me and the others online. thanks

  • Dear Scott,
    I saw your episode on Nat Geo and let me tell you it was really moving.apart from learning a new lesson as i do from each episode, i saw unity that the prisoners had which was really awesome, ur courage and after all u got married to ur gf which ws d best part.It is the only episode that brought a smile to my face after it ended.
    best wishes…

  • Kevin Bastardboy

    cry me a river douche foreigner above the laws

  • Fleece Johnson

    Been waiting 11 years and really want to know what happened to the Chinese murderer. I will not rest until I learn!

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