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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 15 October 2018

Man who stashed drugs inside frozen minced meat loses appeal against jail term  

Drug smuggler caught out at Dubai International Airport

A traveller who was locked up for two years after trying to smuggle drugs inside frozen minced meat into Dubai has lost an appeal against his jail term.

The Egyptian man stashed 480g of hashish and 28 tablets of the anti-epileptic drug pregabalin inside three wrapped plates of the meat, but was caught out by suspicious customs staff upon his arrival at Dubai International Airport.

The 34-year-old had flown into Dubai after a holiday in Cairo in his native Egypt on November 14 when the alarm was raised.

A customs inspector noticed three suspicious items in the man’s suitcase on the X-ray detector and then opened the handbag to check the objects.

“When I opened it, I found frozen minced meat in three manually wrapped plates, which seemed really strange,” the Emirati inspector told the court.

He said he also found a plastic bag containing frozen meat cubes.

“I took the meat plates and chunks outside the bag and had them rescanned. The X-ray showed that some of the chunks were cut in half then put back together before being frozen,” he said.

The inspectors cut the pieces and found substances hidden inside, which they suspected could be drugs. They also found tablets under the minced meat.

Laboratory tests identified the substances as hashish and pregabalin.

The man tested negative for drugs but was charged with smuggling 480g of hashish and 28 pregabalin tablets into the country. He was sentenced to two years in jail.

He will be deported upon release after his appeal against the sentence was rejected.