x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Seven-year prison term for drug smuggler

A Nigerian woman convicted of smuggling more than three kilograms of methamphetamine - which she said she did not realise was illegal - was sentenced to seven years in prison yesterday.

DUBAI // A Nigerian woman convicted of smuggling more than three kilograms of methamphetamine - which she said she did not realise was illegal - was sentenced to seven years in prison yesterday.

IA, 38, was found guilty and sentenced yesterday by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. She was arrested at Dubai International Airport on June 23, when customs inspectors discovered five plastic bags containing the drug hidden in her hand luggage.

"Your honour, I did not know that the items I carried were illegal in the UAE," she told the presiding judge, Fahmy Mounir Fahmy, at an earlier hearing.

An Emirati customs inspector told prosecutors that when IA passed her luggage through the X-ray machine, it was found to contain suspect objects, and she was flagged for a search.

"During the initial search we found nothing, but when we ripped her hand bag open we discovered the drugs," said the female inspector.

According to prosecution records, IA initially told anti-narcotics officers the luggage did not belong to her. "She said that she was supposed to hand over the luggage to a Nigerian man upon her arrival in Dubai," the anti-narcotics officer testified.

Dubai police then booked IA into a hotel in Deira to set up an exchange.

 

amustafa@thenational.ae