Emirati state-run newspaper The National reports that the incident occurred when the Argentina captain arrived Dubai to receive the 2015 player of the year award, and encountered the policeman at the airport.
Lionel Messi takes an unprecedented fifth award. Image: IB Times
The policeman, named JM, posted the video on mobile phone app Snapchat and wrote: “This is Messi’s (passport), he is here in Dubai, what do I do? Shall I burn the passport or just put it back! Ok Ok you can go!”
He’s appeared in Dubai’s court of Misdemeanors where he “pleaded guilty and admitted that he was wrong when he posted Messi’s passport details on social media.” He further claimed he’d made the video in jest and had the permission of Messi’s bodyguard.
Prosecutors accused the policeman of “abusing the telecommunication system”, and he faces a minimum of six months in jail and a fine of up to 500,000 dirhams ($136,000).The National also reports that he’s been charged with “breaching Messi’s privacy”.
Messi, who was recently crowned world footballer of the year for a record fifth time, is also a global ambassador for the coming Expo 2020 in Dubai.