x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Drug smuggler jailed in Dubai for 10 years

A British man is jailed for 10 years and fined Dh50,000 for bringing cocaine into the country hidden in his underwear.

DUBAI // A drug smuggler has been jailed for 10 years and fined Dh50,000 for bringing cocaine into the country hidden in his underwear. PK, 38, from Britain, was arrested in transit at Dubai International Airport in February after arriving from Sao Paolo en route to the UK. He had denied charges of possessing and smuggling drugs filed against him last week at Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance.

The man swallowed 94 capsules of cocaine weighing more than 1kg. He was also in possession of 810 grams of the drug found in a brown bag taped to his underwear and groin. Forensic evidence provided by the Dubai police criminal laboratory confirmed the substance was cocaine. Inspectors at the airport arrested PK after he refused to submit to a personal search when a security gate alarm was raised.

He initially refused to be hand searched by policemen 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." The UAE has a zero tolerance policy on drugs. Those convicted of drug trafficking are liable to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

However, the Dubai public prosecutor's office introduced an alternative policy in 2008 allowing authorities to deport visiting offenders found with less than 20 grams of drugs instead of being taken to court. The policy states that cases of visitors found in possession of drugs for personal use would have their cases referred to the Attorney General's technical bureau for review. @Email:amustafa@thenational.ae