08/07/2013 08:00 EDT

Couple In Dubai Caught Kissing Sentenced To One Month In Jail

A couple in Dubai has been slapped with a one-month jail sentence for being caught kissing in public, Gulf News reports.

In January, a man found a 31-year-old banker and her 19-year-old co-worker in a tinted car behind a mosque and, suspecting the car was transforming into a den of sin but still doubtful of whether they were having sex, decided to call the police.

When the cops showed up, the couple continued kissing, according to The National.

“We chatted for a while before we started kissing," the woman said to Gulf News.

"I admit that we kissed inside my car but we did not have consensual sex anytime... I’ve known him for one year now because we are work colleagues.”

Prosecutors formally charged the couple — both citizens of the United Arab Emirates — on January 21.

At the police station where they were being interrogated, the two said they were in a relationship. But in court, they denied the charges of kissing in public. They were later found guilty, The National reports.

Stories like this aren't rare in Dubai, with its code of conduct banning public displays of affection — even between married couples. In 2010, a similar case culminated in a British man and woman being sentenced to one month in jail as well as getting deported, according to the BBC.

In July, Marte Deborah Dalelv, a Norwegian woman on business in the Gulf city, was sentenced to 16 months in jail for having sex outside of marriage after she reported rape. She was pardoned after the story made international headlines and Norwegian officials intervened.

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