Andrew Higgins’s story yesterday in the Washington Post about Herve Jaubert’s escape from Dubai reads like something out of a Tintin comic: mysterious international wealthy people, treacherous sheikhs, PG-13 violence. Jaubert’s story is offered as an example of the growing number of rich Dubai expats who are running into trouble with the country’s police over business crimes. After their investments with his company went sour, Dubai authorities apparently accused Jaubert — “a French spy who left espionage to make leisure submarines for the wealthy” — of embezzlement. They allegedly threatened him with torture (Jaubert recorded the conversation on his cell phone) and confiscated his passport. So Jaubert decided to escape. He donned an all-black diving outfit, snuck out to the bay in the dead of night disguised in an abaya, swam to and disabled a police patrol boat, rode a rubber dinghy to a sailboat where a friend waited, and sailed to India.
Tell me that doesn’t sound like a plot from Tintin and the Golden Dhow. I mean, how many times have Thomson and Thompson, Professor Calculus or Tintin himself used an abaya as a disguise? And take a look at the lead shot of Jaubert. He looks like he could be a colleague of Rastapopoulos. Continue reading