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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Woman caught with 2,700 Lyrica tablets in Dubai airport is fined

The woman told the court they were for personal use but failed to produce an attested prescription

A woman who brought more than 2,500 Lyrica tablets into the country without a prescription was fined Dh2,000 by Dubai Criminal Court.

The 23-year-old Lebanese woman was arrested at Dubai International Airport on July 2.

In court last August, she told presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi the drugs were for personal use due to her trauma.

“I swear, your honour, I am taking these tablets as medication after my brother died in front of my eyes in a traffic accident a few months back,” she said.

"Since he died I have been in depression and I was prescribed this medication. It's fine in Lebanon and I had no idea it's banned in the UAE. Nobody told me, not even at the airport when I was leaving my country.”

The judge asked if she could have a member of her family collect her prescription from the case file and have it attested by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support her case.

The woman agreed but asked the judge if she could be released to spend Eid with her family since it was the first holiday since her brother died.

Prosecutors said she had 2,744 tablets of a medicine called Lyrica, which is banned in the UAE according to Federal Law 14 and amended in Law 1, 2005. Lyrica is used to treat epilepsy and anxiety.

A member of the woman’s family did not produce an attested prescription.

She has been in custody since her arrest and was granted bail by the court in August.

On Tuesday the court said she would be deported after paying her fine.