x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Briton jailed in Dubai for cocaine in underwear

A British man has been sentenced to 10 years in jail and fined Dh50,000 after being convicted of smuggling cocaine in his underwear.

DUBAI // A British man has been jailed for 10 years and fined Dh50,000 for smuggling cocaine in his underwear. The transit passenger P K, 38, was arrested while changing flights at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 in February after arriving from Sao Paolo. He was en route to the UK. He had denied charges of possession of narcotics and smuggling narcotics through transit filed against him last week at Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. The defendant ingested 94 capsules of cocaine weighing just more than 1kg. He was also found to be in possession of 810 grams of the drug inside a brown bag that was taped to his underwear and groin. Forensic evidence provided by the Dubai police criminal laboratory confirmed the substance seized was cocaine. Inspectors at the airport arrested P K after he refused to submit to a personal search when a security gate alarm was raised. He initially refused to be hand searched by police but agreed to a metal detector search, officers said. "Nothing was found in his bags as they passed through the customs detector," said a police officer. "When he was taken to the search room, a white powder wrapped in a transparent tape was found in his underwear and then he was referred to be X-rayed." There is an alternative in Dubai to being imprisoned for drugs if caught as a tourist. The Dubai public prosecutor's office introduced a policy in 2008 allowing authorities to deport visiting offenders found with less than 20 grams of narcotics instead of being taken to court. The policy states that cases of visitors that are found to be in possession of drugs for personal use would have their cases referred to the Attorney General's technical bureau for review. The UAE has a zero tolerance policy on narcotics. Those convicted of drug trafficking can be subject to life imprisonment. amustafa@thenational.ae