x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Innocent plea to drug charges

A man charged with trying to sell more than 4kg of heroin to an undercover policeman pleaded not guilty before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday.

DUBAI // A man charged with trying to sell more than 4kg of heroin to an undercover policeman pleaded not guilty before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday. AB, 30, from Nigeria, appeared with SO, also 30 from Nigeria, who was charged with the lesser offence of drug abuse. SO also pleaded not guilty. The two were arrested as they were selling the drugs to an undercover officer in a hotel in Deira, the prosecution alleged.

According to prosecution documents, the Dubai Police received information on June 10 that a Nigerian man sought to sell a quantity of heroin for Dh70,000 (US$19,000) per kilogramme. The undercover officer met AB in the lobby of a Deira hotel and had a two-hour conversation before AB telephoned SO and asked him to bring the drugs, the documents state. AB received a black laptop bag from SO that contained the heroin, and when the officer took the bag, he signalled other officers to make the arrests, the documents state.

The suspects said they did not know the bag contained drugs, the prosecution documents state. AB later changed his statement and told police that he got the drugs from his brother, a man identified as RB. SO told the police he arrived at the hotel in RB's car and that RB gave him the bag which contained the drugs before driving off. Both defendants admitted they knew that the bag contained drugs, the documents state. The case was adjourned until Nov 5 to allow the defendants time to prepare their defence. hbathish@thenational.ae