x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Case of mistaken identity led to man's Dubai drug arrest, says lawyer

A man arrested on drug charges tells court police mistook him for someone with a similar name.

DUBAI // A man arrested on drugs charges was mistaken for someone with a similar name, a court heard yesterday.

Police arrested MA, 34, from Egypt, after receiving a tip-off that he was taking drugs. They arrested him at Dubai International Airport’s Duty Free shop, where he worked, on October 8 last year.

But his lawyer, Saeed Al Ghilani, said police had mixed up his client with someone else and blamed the arresting officer for not checking his information sufficiently.

“He only asked about this name at my client’s workplace and someone pointed to him,” said Mr Al Ghilani.

The lawyer said that his client shared a first and last name with the man named in the tip-off, but their middle names were different.

“There should be a guarantee for people’s liberty,” said Mr Al Ghilani. “The person whose name was given in the tip-off is not the person in the case. I therefore request the court to consider this case invalid.”

Prosecutors admitted that the man had no drugs on him when he was arrested, and that police had failed to find any in his car or at his home.

However, they said drug tests had revealed traces of hashish and Tramadol in his system.

The man is in jail awaiting a verdict, which is expected on June 18.

wissa@thenational.ae