http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article567713.ece FURIOUS airmen last night branded as muppets three comrades accused of a drunken car theft in the Middle East. The RAF Tornado crew went on a bender before attending a Justin Timberlake concert on a break from war game exercises. But as they left the gig they mistakenly tried to get into a stretch limo belonging to the brother of the United Arab Emirates President, Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Cops in the capital Abu Dhabi accused them of car theft and drink-driving and banged them up in jail for three days. They were released on Sunday. Furious colleagues, who live in tents in Afghanistan and Iraq rather than staying in five-star hotels, said last night the trio should be left to fester in jail. One pilot said: Nice to know they have got the time to waste p***ing it up the wall whilst the rest of us are living in the desert. The trio have been ordered to remain in Abu Dhabi until facing trial next week. The scandal has caused a diplomatic incident between Britain and the UAE. Senior Foreign Office officials have had to issue a formal apology and the head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glen Torpy, was said last night to be absolutely livid. Diplomats believe that the Abu Dhabi Three will be given heavy fines rather than imprisonment if convicted but they face disciplinary action when they come home.They could face a court martial with the possibility of loss of rank or dismissal. The men were part of an RAF team flying Tornado F3 jets in a major multi-national war games exercise. They were not on flying duties the following day and were said to be swigging copious quantities of booze before the exclusive concert. Last night the Ministry of Defence said in statement to The Sun: The RAF can confirm that three off-duty personnel were arrested in Abu Dhabi on 6 December by local police in connection with an alleged incident. They were released on bail on 9 December. The RAF can also confirm that they were in Abu Dhabi on an air exercise with multi national forces. We expect our service personnel abroad to conduct themselves appropriately, taking into account local sensitivities and Foreign Office travel advice. We are unable to comment any further on this case or any administrative action that might be considered until the legal process has been concluded. Booze is freely available in the UAE unlike in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. While high spirits by young officers are usually dealt with by hefty fines to charity and extra duties, anything that results in police involvement, especially of a host nation overseas, is usually dealt with severely. A senior RAF source said: All personnel serving overseas are specifically briefed on local sensibilities and told that upsetting the host nation is the number one sin. We understand that there is no question of the men trying to steal a car they were genuinely mistaken.