x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Arab singer held on drug charges in Sweden

The famous Syrian-Lebanese singer George Wassouf has been arrested in Sweden just hours before he was due to perform.

The legendary Syrian-Lebanese singer George Wassouf.
The legendary Syrian-Lebanese singer George Wassouf.

The Syrian-Lebanese crooner George Wassouf was arrested in Sweden at the weekend on drug charges just hours before he was due to perform a concert, police told reporters yesterday. Mr Wassouf "has been held in police custody since yesterday [Saturday] on drug charges," a police officer in the western Stockholm district, Martin Holm said. He was arrested after a police raid at a hotel in the Swedish capital, Mr Holm said.

According to the online version of the daily Aftonbladet, Mr Wassouf, 46, was in possession of 30 grams of cocaine when he was arrested. Mr Holm would not comment on the report. No formal charges have been pressed against Mr Wassouf yet, and a prosecutor was to ask a Stockholm court to remand him in custody today pending an investigation, Mr Holm said. According to Aftonbladet, thousands of people had bought tickets to see the singer perform at a newly opened venue in the Stockholm suburb of Solna.

Mr Wassouf, who moved to Lebanon as a child, is a star in the Arab world with more than 30 albums to his name.

*AFP