x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

British security contractors in court over explosives

Two British men have been charged with bringing explosives into the country, materials they say were intended for training the Sharjah Police.

ABU DHABI // Two British men have been charged with bringing explosives into the country, materials they say were intended for training the Sharjah Police, the Federal Supreme Court heard yesterday. The two men, who work for a British security contractor, entered the country in early March. State security prosecutors said the two arrived without proper permits for the explosives they were transporting.

According to the court hearing yesterday, the men, PL and RA, brought "blast initiators" - devices used to set off controlled explosions. RA told the judge that the blast initiators were intended to be used in "training exercises for Sharjah Police". Police forces across the Emirates often undergo training in how to collect evidence from blast sites. These training exercises are often carried out by former police officers from the UK or the US.

According to the country's laws, military equipment requires a special permit from the Ministry of Interior. The men, both of whom have been released on bail, attended the hearing yesterday with their lawyer, Dr Fahd al Sabhan. Sharjah Police could not be reached yesterday for comment. hhassan@thenational.ae myoussef@thenational.ae