DUBAI // A sailor and his unemployed friend were sentenced to life in prison this morning and fined Dh100,000 each for smuggling more than 125kg of crystal meth into the country through Dubai Marina.
The Dubai Criminal Court heard that BF, 30, and his friend MR, 35, both Iranians, were in possession of 117 plastic bags of the drug when they were arrested by officers from Dubai Police's anti-narcotics department.
RA, 40, from Iran, was also arrested and charged with possessing drugs. He was sentenced to seven years and fined Dh200,000.
AH, a 37-year-old police major, said officers were tipped off the men would try to smuggle the drugs through Dubai Marina near the Sheraton Hotel on February 10 this year.
A police team tracked down the sailor and put him under surveillance. They saw him taking 10 boxes from another sailor and loading them into his rental car shortly after midnight. Two of the boxes were kept on the front seat and the remainder were put in the boot.
Police then followed the sailor to the Springs area, where two friends got into his car. Police arrested all three.
While under interrogation the sailor told officers he was planning to ship the drugs to Thailand. They then searched his house in the Springs and found more drugs hidden inside a number of small refrigerators.
Officers also arrested the crew of the ship the sailor was working on. One of the crew, 24-year-old TP, also from Iran, was in possession of 0.27 grams of opium. He was charged with possessing the drug for his own use and was sentenced to four years in jail.
All four men will be deported following the completion of their jail terms.