Models who posed naked on Dubai balcony could face jail for brazen nude stunt

The women who posed naked on a balcony in Dubai have been arrested after videos of the photoshoot went viral on social media across the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai police said they have arrested a “group of people who appeared in an indecent video” on charges of public debauchery.

All are understood to be from the former Soviet Union including Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova.

A statement issued by the Dubai police says that "a criminal case has been registered against the arrested and they have been referred to the Public Prosecution for further legal action".

The incident could potentially lead to substantial fines and even jail time for those taking part.

The statement adds that “such unacceptable behaviours do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society”.

The group of at least 20 women, all thought to be professional models from Eastern Europe, had lined up for the photoshoot on the balcony of an apartment block in the exclusive Dubai Marina area on the evening of Saturday, April 3.

Some reports put the total number of models involves in the stunt as high as 40. Early reports suggest the shoot may have been publicity for an Israeli version of an unidentified US adult website.

Images and videos of the incident were soon circulating – mainly via WhatsApp – all over the UAE and beyond. Within hours of the images surfacing online, local police announced that they had arrested the women.

A Russian man has also been detained. Named by Moscow media as Alexey Kontsov, 33, he was allegedly the organiser of the “lewd” incident, Russian diplomatic sources said: "A Russian man was detained. According to the police, they suspect him of being one of those who sponsored the entire event."

He was reportedly filming the naked women from the balcony of a nearby apartment.

He then made the “fatal mistake” of sharing the explicit video, a potential crime in the UAE, he told reporters.

Despite earlier reports, well-connected Russian media outlet LIFE has quoted an official from the Russian consulate as saying that that no Russian women had been arrested in connection with the incident.

The UAE, has strict Sharia-based public decency laws and anyone who convicted of “engaging in lewd speech” or “seducing others publicly in debauchery” could face a fine of up to 5,000 dirham (£1,000) or a six-month jail term.

The statement from the Dubai police also points out that anyone sharing images or video of the naked balcony photoshoot is liable for a fine up to 500,000 Dirhams (£97,000).

Several of the models involved in the shoot have been identified by Russian media.

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Two Ukrainians in their mid-20s — named Yana, from Kyiv, and Diana, seen riding a camel on their Instagram accounts – have been identified in the controversial balcony picture from their distinctive tattoos.

Another Ukrainian model Dariya Khorunzhenko, 19, from Poltava, is known to be among the group in the graphic photograph.

Ukrainian models Ekaterina Kashenko, also a brow stylist, and Sophia Tkachuk, are among the group.

All the identified Ukrainian models had posted videos or images from Dubai on their social media.

Russian online news outlet Mash reported that the photoshoot included the 21-year-old daughter of a Russian businessman and former banker. However she has denied being at the Dubai shoot.

Anastasia Kashuba, 20, is a model from Kharkiv, and was identified by BAZA media in Russia as a participant in the shoot.

Tatyana Borisenko, in her early 20s, is a model and amateur makeup artist from Kyiv, has recently been posting on social media from Dubai.

Marianna Fedchuk, also in her early 20s, is from Uzhgorod.

She and Borisenko were identified by the Plokhie Novosti telegram channel in Russia.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry said today that it believes 11 of its female citizens have been detained in Dubai.

Diplomats are due to visit the detainees on Tuesday and will “ensure that the rights of the Ukrainian women are respected”.

While Dubai has a reputation for being a glamorous holiday destinations for westerners, its laws are strictly enforced. In 2009, British expats Ayman Najafi and Charlotte Adams, were jailed for a month and then deported after a local woman complained about them kissing in a restaurant.

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