Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 November 2019

Sailors convicted of drug smuggling win appeal against ten-year jail terms

The men were brought to court after more than 40kg of drugs was found stashed on their boat

Two sailors convicted of smuggling more than 40kg of drugs inside their boat's fuel tanks have won an appeal against their ten-year jail terms.

The two Iranian seafarers, aged 37 and 38, were arrested after a swoop by customs inspectors acting on information that the vessel was travelling into UAE waters loaded with drugs.

During a search of the boat on November 20 of last year, inspectors found a variety of illicit substances - including heroin, opium and methamphetamine - stashed in the diesel tanks.

Officers also found more than 9,000 tablets and capsules of drugs such as methadone and tramadol during the search.

The two sailors insisted they were unaware the haul of drugs was hidden on the boat.

They were convicted of drug smuggling charges at Dubai Criminal Court last July, along with the boat's 30-year-old captain.

The three men were sentenced to ten years in prison, to be followed by deportation, and each fined Dh150,000.

The two sailors were acquitted at Dubai Court of Appeal on Sunday due to insufficient evidence against them.

The conviction of the boat's captain was upheld.

During police questioning, he had admitted he was aware the drugs were on board and were due to be distributed in Dubai.

Updated: October 27, 2019 02:58 PM

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