x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

British tourists jailed for four years by Dubai court for possessing synthetic drug Spice

Two of the three accused originally faced drug dealing charges but these were dropped as the Dubai Criminal Court sentenced the trio for possession.

??Three Britons have been jailed for possessing the drug Spice, also known as K2. Picture courtesy Dubai Customs
??Three Britons have been jailed for possessing the drug Spice, also known as K2. Picture courtesy Dubai Customs

DUBAI // Three British tourists were today jailed for four years for using synthetic cannabis known as spice.

The Criminal Court dropped a further charge against two of them of intent to supply the drug.

The three men, Grant Cameron, 25, Karl Williams, 26, and Suneet Jeerh, 25, had claimed during their trial that their confessions were taken by force and that they had been tortured by police.

At a hearing last month police insisted the three had been treated well and with respect.

The court noted that they were not arrested while selling the drug, and said that none of the prosecution witnesses, including the arresting officers, had said anything that suggested the men were intending to sell the drugs.

The prosecution witnesses, said the court, had not even asked the men whether they intended to sell the drug.

The court also dismissed a defence claim that the bag of drugs examined by the police laboratory must have been different to the one shown in court because the weights were different. It said this difference was explained by the drying of the tobacco which the drug was mixed with, and noted the scales used in the laboratory are more sensitive than those used in court.

It also dismissed a defence claim that the arrest warrant had been forged.

Prosecutors told the court the men were arrested following a tip-off to Dubai Police’s Anti-Narcotics department. The informant told police that Williams and Cameron had more than a kilogram of Spice.

Police approached them on July 10 last year while they were sitting in a BMW in Dubai Marina at about 8pm. The searched the vehicle and found two plastic bags containing the drug, one under the front passenger’s seat and another in the boot.

The arresting officer testified that Jeerh was not inside the car with the other two but standing a few metres away.

Another officer said that after arresting the men, they all denied possessing the drug.

“They told me it belonged to another British man and that he was the one who placed it there,” said the officer.

Forensics reports said urine samples taken from the three men contained traces of drugs. In court, the men denied the charges, Williams and Cameron saying that they had used the drug before entering the country while Jeerh denied taking it at all.

The court ordered the deportation of the three after completing their sentence. They have been in jail since July.

The sentence is subject to appeal within 15 days.

salamir@thenational.ae