x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

UAE drug dealer planned to smuggle 150kg hashish to Kuwait, court hears

Police were tipped off about the deal and used an undercover agent to contact the intended recipient of the drugs and offer to act as a go-between, prosecutors told the Criminal Court.

DUBAI // A drug dealer planned to smuggle more than 150 kilograms of hashish to Kuwait, a court heard today.

Police were tipped off about the deal and used an undercover agent to contact the intended recipient of the drugs and offer to act as a go-between, prosecutors told the Criminal Court.

The agent was told to meet a man near the California Hotel in Naif to take possession of the drugs. When the agent arrived at the meeting place, he received a further call from the man in Kuwait telling him the whereabouts of a suitcase containing the drugs, which had been placed nearby.

As MA, 27, from Iran, handed the suitcase to the agent, police officers swooped and arrested him. They found nearly 50kg of hashish in his possession. He then told them that he was visiting the country and that a friend had arranged for him to stay in an apartment where a further 100kg of the drugs - also intended for Kuwait - were hidden.

"He said that he was to be paid after the hashish was delivered," testified AM, a lieutenant colonel with the anti-narcotics department.

The translator who interpreted for the arrested man during police investigations said that he was aware that the substance found in the apartment was hashish.

"He also said that he received a call from Iran from a man who ordered him to pack only 50kgs and head to California Hotel," said JS, the police's Farsi translator.

"He told me he had many debts which forced him to do such a thing," the translator added.

In court the Iranian initially denied a charge of drug dealing, but under questioning by the judge confessed. However, he added that the drugs did not belong to him.

The next hearing was scheduled for January 27 to assign the man a lawyer.

salamir@thenational.ae