x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

'Good deed' shoe-swapping Dubai traveller jailed for airport drugs find

The Afghan was also fined Dh50,000 and will be deported after completing his prison term.

DUBAI // A man caught with cannabis in his shoes claimed he had swapped footwear with another traveller to prevent the man's feet getting cold.

S?K, 48, from Afghanistan, denied smuggling 132 pieces of hashish weighing more than 200 grams through Dubai's airport.

He was arrested on November 6 last year after a customs inspector noticed his shoes were very thick and searched him.

"I asked the defendant what the substance was and he told me it was hashish," the inspector said.

But the Afghan insisted he had merely done a good deed, saying he gave his warm shoes to a compatriot who was returning to their home country.

"Our country is very cold and a poor man's shoes were not warm, so I gave him mine and took his knowing that I was headed for a warm country."

"And you were sure his shoes would fit you just perfectly?" asked the presiding judge, Maher Salameh, at Dubai Criminal Court.

The Afghan was jailed for 10 years and fined Dh50,000. He will be deported after his prison term.

salamir@thenational.ae