x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Drug arrests of five followed a phone call to suspect

A phone call to an alleged drug user while he was being questioned by police led officers to five other users and a dealer.

ABU DHABI // A phone call to an alleged drug user while he was being questioned by police led officers to five other users and a dealer, a member of the defence team said yesterday. SG was arrested after the counter-narcotics police were tipped off to his alleged use of drugs, according to Gamal al Samman. While in custody, he received a telephone call from MS.

As a result of the call, Mr al Samman said after the hearing at the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance, police told SG to meet MS at a cafe in Khalidiya Mall. There, MS was arrested, along with three of the other seven defendants. The other two were detained when they attempted to contact those already in custody, said Mr al Samman, who claimed that the officers had acted without proper authority.

"It's all void," he said. "There was no permission to perform any searches or any arrests." SG, AH and AS are accused of both possession and use of drugs, MS with possession and WI and HG with use. MY, is accused of using and trading in drugs. AH was allegedly found in possession of 12.4g of unspecified drugs, but the amounts were not disclosed for the others charged with possession. The judge said that drugs had been found in blood tests, and disclosed that SG and HG had already confessed to using drugs in the prosecution's investigation.

However, both men said they had made the admissions under duress. "They threatened me with electricity," said HG. SG also said he had been threatened by members of the counter-narcotics team, but that the prosecutor had ignored the allegations. Tharwat al Hawary, defending AH, told the court his client was suffering from a psychiatric illness and the judge adjourned the hearing pending a medical report, which is due on August 25.

The seven men, all Egyptian, denied all the charges. newsdesk@thenational.ae