x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Drug dealer's friend tipped off police

Man given life sentence for dealing in drugs appeals sentence saying he possessed the Tramadol pills for a health condition.

ABU DHABI // A man sentenced to life in prison for dealing drugs was arrested after a friend staying in his house tipped off police, the appeals court heard yesterday.

The alleged drugs dealer, an Emirati, is appealing the sentence handed down by the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court, claiming the Tramadol tablets in his possession were for a medical condition.

A police witness told the court yesterday that after the tip-off, an officer posing as a buyer agreed to buy 60 pills from the man for Dh8,000.

The undercover policeman picked up the man from a petrol station and, after a pre-arranged signal, other officers arrested the man, who dropped the money on the floor of the car.

The man denied selling the pills and said he had a stock of them because he was planning to stay for a while in Abu Dhabi, away from his home in Ajman.

His lawyer, Ali Al Mannai, yesterday said the tip-off came from a friend who had been staying at the man's house.

"He had stayed in the defendant's house for 13 days before the incident," Mr Al Mannai said.

On the day of the undercover operation, the friend told the man he would pick up the man from the petrol station to take him to his house, the court heard.

It was told he called a short time later saying he could not make it and that another friend would show up instead. Shortly afterwards, police arrested the man.

Mr Al Mannai requested that the friend be made to testify at the next hearing.

The court adjourned the case until June 24. It also ordered to see records of the telephone calls between the man, his friend and the undercover officer.