x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Life sentences for drug dealers found with 22kg of heroin

Most of the drugs were found hidden in a false ceiling in an apartment in Al Baraha.

DUBAI // Four drug dealers found with more than 22kg of heroin were sentenced to life in prison today.

Officers from Dubai Police's anti-narcotics department arrested the woman SA, 49, and three men MN, 36, GR, 28 and EA, 35, in their apartment in Al Baraha on October 19 following a tip off. A search of the apartment found ten plastic bags containing 10.2kg of heroin as well as 1,096 capsules, which contained a more than 12.5kg of the drug.

Officers told the court that most of the drugs were found hidden in a false ceiling in the apartment and that some were destined for sale in the UAE, while some were destined for China. They said the gang often obtained drugs from people who smuggled them into the country inside their bodies.

The first lieutenant AA said that the woman told him the capsules arrived four days before the arrest and that she brought them to the apartment where two of the men stored them. The drugs were to be sold to an African man staying in a hotel near their apartment.

He said the woman admitted to him that she had been working in the drug business for five years, and that one of the men told him that the gang had received some of the heroin in the last days of Ramadan.

Two of the men and the woman denied charges of possession with intent to supply when they appeared before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. The third man admitted possession, but said they were for his personal use. However, all were found guilty of possession with intent to supply and given life sentences - 25 years.

Two of the men - GR and EA - were sentenced to an additional four years for consuming drugs. The sentence will run consecutively to their life sentences.

The four will be deported after serving their prison terms. EA is from India, the others are from Pakistan.

salamir@thenational.ae