x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Men caught with 50kg of heroin at Dubai market get 10 year jail terms

Four men caught with 50 kg of heroin are sentenced to ten years in prison.

DUBAI // Four men caught with 50 kilograms of heroin hidden at a Dubai market have been sentenced to ten years in prison each.

The four Pakistanis were caught at the Fruit and Vegetable Market in Al Aweer on April 4 this year while in the middle of a drug deal.

Officers from Dubai Police's Anti-Narcotics department put the men under surveillance after receiving a tip off.

They watched as JZ, a 27-year-old mechanic, MH, a 40-year-old painter and AS, a 30-year-old on a visit visa, drove up to the market in a Mazda car and met with a fourth man - AJ, a 22-year-old driver.

"They spoke for a while and then all of them walked towards a container," testified one of the police officers, a major.

He said that a pickup truck parked next to the container and that the driver asked some workers to move some boxes of oranges from the container onto the pick up truck.

Police searched the boxes and found that each had two plastic bags of heroin hidden underneath the fruits. They then arrested the four men.

The mechanic confessed to drug trafficking, telling police officers he meant to deliver the heroin to a Nigerian man. He said a Pakistani woman was arranging the smuggling operation from Pakistan and called to inform him about the arrival date two weeks before they were arrested.

He said he met with the Nigerian man who gave him money to rent a warehouse to store the boxes.

All the men denied charges of trafficking when they appeared at the Dubai Criminal Court last July, but were found guilty.

In addition to their jail terms, all of them were fined Dh50,000 each and will be deported after the completion of their prison terms.

salamir@thenational.ae