Man jailed for life on drug charges

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Old 29-Oct-2010
Man jailed for life on drug charges

Dubai: A Syrian visitor will spend the rest of his life in jail and faces a hefty fine after a court convicted him yesterday of possessing 4.17 million capsules of amphetamines for trading purposes.

The Dubai Court of First Instance handed down the 29-year-old Syrian defendant a life sentence after he was pronounced guilty of possessing 4.17 million capsules of amphetamine, weighing hundreds of kilos, for trading purposes.

Pronouncing yesterday's judgment, Presiding Judge Hamad Abdul Latif Abdul Jawad said the accused will have to pay Dh50,000 fine. He will also be deported following his jail term.

When the accused, H.S., was brought from his detention into courtroom four, he seemed pale and was spotted in a state of shock when he heard the verdict.

"No. Not guilty," argued H.S. when he defended himself in court earlier.

Prosecutors accused the defendant with possessing 4,199 sacks containing amphetamine for trading purposes.

According to the arraignment sheet, prosecutors also charged H.S. with possessing nine capsules containing dextropropoxyphene drug and 75 capsules of diazepam (tranquiliser) for personal consumption.

He was also charged with using different kinds of drugs and mind-altering substances.

Chief Prosecutor Waleed Ali Khalifa Al Fuqaie, Head of Drug Prosecution at Dubai Public Prosecution, asked the court to implement the toughest punishment (life sentence plus a maximum fine of Dh200,000) followed by deportation against the suspect.

Personal use

"I am guilty and possessed drugs for personal use," contended the accused when he defended himself against the charge of possessing dextropropoxyphene drug and diazepam [tranquilizing capsules]."

Chief Prosecutor Al Fuqaie earlier described the case as the "biggest drug case" probed by his team since the Drugs Prosecution was started last September.

Prosecution records said an Emirati anti-narcotics police major testified that an informant alerted them that H.S. was expecting a massive consignment of capsules.

"The informant tipped us that the consignment was expected to be brought to a warehouse in Al Hamriya Port in Dubai and sold to a party before being exported to Saudi Arabia. An anti-narcotic police team remained on the lookout since the defendant arrived at Sharjah Airport. He rented a flat in Al Baraha and a warehouse in Al Ghusais. He brought cartons to store the capsules."

Yesterday's judgment remains subject to appeal within 15 days.

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