Convicted drug smuggler’s sentence increased to 7 years

Defendant was caught at Dubai airport with 2,450 tablets of banned painkillers in December 2016

18:14 September 6, 2017

Dubai: The Dubai Court of Appeal has overturned a one-year sentence given a convicted drug smuggler and increased the sentence to seven years and Dh50,000 fine for possessing 2,450 tablets of banned painkillers, a court heard.

The 28-year-old man was originally sentenced by the First Instance Court to one year imprisonment but the Public Prosecution appealed the sentence and won their appeal.

The Kenyan national possessed the drugs when he was arrested at Dubai International Airport on December 20 last year.

A customs inspector said that he suspected the passenger and asked to search his luggage.

“I felt he was hiding something in his luggage because it was unusually thick. So I asked him to open his bag and then I found the tablets,” the Emirati inspector said in his official records.

Inspectors conducted a body search for man and found more drugs wrapped around his body as well as some hidden in his clothes.

The defendant was referred to the airport’s police station where the man allegedly admitted carrying the drugs from his home country to deliver to a man in Dubai.

He was then referred to Anti-Narcotic Department in Dubai Police. His urine sample showed no traces of drugs.

He denied a drug smuggling charge, and said he had no idea that what he was carrying was banned in the UAE.

The First Instance Court found him guilty and he was sentenced to a year in jail to be followed by deportation. He was additionally fined Dh20,000.

The Dubai Court of Appeal increased his sentence to seven years and his fine to Dh50,000 to be followed by deportation after serving his jail term.