x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Drug smuggler appeals Abu Dhabi death sentence for his 'heroin shoes'

Man found with more than a kilogramme of heroin inside his shoes denies consuming the drug - saying it was absorbed into his blood because he wore the shoes for too long.

ABU DHABI // A man sentenced to death for smuggling more than a kilogram of heroin inside his shoes says traces of the drug found in his blood must have got there through cuts in his feet.

YM, from Pakistan, told the Appeals Court he had been wearing the shoes for too long, and took them off to show the judge his wounded feet.

Dr Khairi Al Kabbash, head of the court, asked whether the drug was hidden inside the shoes or inside his socks.

"I don't know, the person who sent me asked for my shoe size and then brought me the shoes to wear," the man replied.

He had travelled from Pakistan to Iran, Oman and finally to the UAE through the Al Ain border before arriving in the capital with 1.264kg of the drug.

He went to the bus station, where he had been told to meet a dealer, but instead he was detained by police officers who had been tipped off about his arrival.

Dr Al Kabbash asked the Pakistani if he had the number of the man who had sent him with the drugs. He said it was on his phone, which police confiscated.

The court asked if he knew what drug he was smuggling. "I just knew they were drugs," he said.

The court adjourned until October 10 while a lawyer is appointed for the man. It ordered the drug be analysed to ascertain that it was heroin, and called on the arresting officer to give evidence.