x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Drug pair jailed for four years

Under UAE law, anyone found guilty of possessing drugs for personal use, or of taking them, gets a four-year prison sentence.

DUBAI // A Saudi man and his female Moroccan companion, were each sentenced to four years in prison by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday for possession of hashish. The man, FH, 46, was charged with trafficking and possession of a narcotic substance while his co-defendant NS, 30, was charged with consuming a narcotic substance.

Neither appeared in court yesterday to hear the ruling. FH had pleaded not guilty at the first hearing two weeks ago, while NS pleaded guilty to taking drugs. According to court documents, the police anti-narcotics department received information that the defendant was taking drugs in his suite at a five-star hotel in Dubai. Police raided the ninth-floor hotel room in the early morning hours of July 31.

FH, who was in the room, admitted to police that he had taken drugs. A search of the room uncovered several packets containing cigarettes that had been stuffed with a mixture of tobacco and hashish. Police also found hashish wrapped in chocolate foil wrappers. FH told police that he brought the drugs with him from Egypt and that he hid them in his baggage. The couple were arrested by Dubai Police for allegedly possessing and using drugs and detained at the Bur Dubai police station.

Police had acted on a tip-off that the suspect, who had arrived in the UAE recently on a visit, had hashish in his possession. Under UAE law, anyone found guilty of possessing drugs for personal use, or of taking them, gets a four-year prison sentence, while possession with intent to distribute earns a sentence of between 10 years and life. In some cases the death sentence can be imposed. hbathish@thenational.ae