x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Man admits smuggling illicit drugs

A British man has admitted to smuggling a small amount of hashish into the country.

DUBAI // A British man has admitted to smuggling a small amount of hashish into the country. RS, 42, told the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday that the 0.77 grams of hashish found in his hand luggage was for his "personal use". The defendant was arrested at the customs counter at Dubai International Airport's Terminal One after arriving on a flight from the UK on Oct 22. RS admitted to customs officials that the hashish belonged to him.

Although it is not known what penalty RS will face, at a news conference on Oct 26, the chief prosecutor for Bur Dubai second district, Mohammed Ali Rustom, said that anyone caught with less than 20 grams of narcotics at the airport could be deported without trial. In the event a case is referred to trial and a conviction is reached, an automatic four-year prison sentence is imposed. "While there is no formal order to this effect, we follow the Dubai attorney general's instructions in cases of possession of small quantities of drugs," Mr Rustom said.

"If the amount does not exceed 20 grams, we may recommend deportation to the lawyer general's technical office, which is the body that takes the decision." hbathish@thenational.ae