x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Housewife found with codeine jailed for seven years

Woman claimed the 4,396 codeine tablets found in her possession were for medical purposes.

DUBAI // A housewife who claimed 4,396 codeine tablets found in her possession were for medical purposes was today sentenced to seven years in jail.

SA, a 42-year-old Iranian, was arrested in February at the Dubai International Airport, where she arrived from her home country on a visit visa.

Airport security officers who searched the woman found two yogurt-like cans filled with codeine tablets, each of which were sealed with transparent tape and wrapped in clothes. The tablets weighed a total of 1.679kg.

The housewife told Judge Hamad Abdul Latif that she needed the drug as she suffered from breast tumours and severe spinal disc herniations. Her lawyer said that she kept weekly appointments with her doctor in Iran and said she had a medical prescription for the tablets. A translated copy of the prescription was produced, but the court decided this was inadequate.

The lawyer also asked the court for leniency in sentencing the woman as she was the sole provider of care for her 74-year-old husband, who is blind. The woman was described as a frequent visitor to the UAE as she has family here, though it was not clear where her husband resides.

The Dubai Criminal Court also fined the housewife Dh50,000 and ordered her deportation following the completion of her prison term.

The sentence is subject to appeal within 15 days.

salamir@thenational.ae