Man didn’t know opium poppies were illegal in UAE, lawyer tells Dubai court
DUBAI // The lawyer of a man accused of smuggling opium poppies into the UAE said his client was innocent because he was not aware the plant was banned here.
After Pakistani M N confessed to a charge of smuggling and possessing 227 grams of opium poppies at Dubai Criminal Court, his lawyer said the 22-year-old did not know it was illegal.
“In Pakistan they use it in cooking and I brought them with me unknowing they were illegal here,” said M N who was caught carrying the plant on April 22 at Dubai International Airport.
His lawyer claimed the drug, which is a type of herb from which opium and poppy seeds are derived, was used in the past by mothers as medication before it was listed as a banned drug in the Emirates. He requested the court’s leniency and M N be found not guilty.
A verdict is expected on September 14.
Updated: August 10, 2015 04:00 AM