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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Life in jail for Saudis caught with almost 200kg of amphetamines in Dubai

Pair were convicted of possessing the illicit drug with the intent to sell after police swooped on them as they met at a quiet, sandy area

Two Saudi men were sentenced to life in prison for possessing more than 199kg of amphetamine pills to sell.

The pair, aged 26 and 31, were arrested in a sting operation on December 5 last year while exchanging the drugs and were charged with possessing amphetamine with intent to sell and with consuming drugs.

“I didn’t possess anything,” the 26-year-old told judges at Dubai Criminal Court, while his co-accused admitted to only consuming drugs.

“I took them in Saudi Arabia, not here,” said the other man.

A Dubai Police anti-narcotics captain said that they were tipped off about the defendants. “We were informed that they are part of a gang trafficking in drugs and had them under surveillance,” said the captain, 40.

He added that after obtaining an arrest warrant, they apprehended the pair in Abu Hail at about 5.30pm.

“They met each in a different car in a sandy patch then chatted for a while before they were arrested,” said the captain, adding that three large bags containing the drugs were found in the younger defendant’s car.

Police said he confessed that he was offered 900,000 Saudi riyals (Dh881,000) from a man in Saudi Arabia whom he had never met to arrange with the second defendant then deliver the drugs to an Emirati man in Dubai.

Prosecutors said the pair of them confessed that they were still waiting for directions from Saudi in relation to the delivery but were arrested before that could happen.

Both men were sentenced to life in jail and each were fined Dh100,000. They will be deported after serving their prison terms. However, the verdict remains subject to appeal within 14 days.

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