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Favour to aunt lands newly-wed man in drug case

Suspect carried sack of banned pills from an aunt in Syria for a sick aunt in UAE

Gulf News

Dubai: A newly-wed man was accused of smuggling and possessing banned pills that he took from one of his aunts in Syria and carried to another of his aunt who was sick in the UAE.

The 26-year-old Palestinian man was on his way back from Syria when drug enforcement officers seized a sackful of 240 mind-affecting pills in his luggage at the Dubai International Airport in September.

The man’s sick aunt, who lives in Abu Dhabi, called up her nephew, who had gone on a holiday to get married, and asked him to pick up a sack from her sister, who lives in Damascus, to give it to her.

Doing it as a favour to his aunt, the 26-year-old man picked the sack and packed it in his luggage without checking its content before he was taken into custody once he landed in Dubai.

Once airport officers detected the banned pills in the man’s luggage, they apprehended him and referred him to Dubai Police’s antinarcotics department.

When the man was taken into custody, he instantly called up his aunt and informed her that the sack contained banned substances.

The aunt rushed to the airport and presented the medical prescriptions and reports to drug officers that it was a prescribed medicine and that she had asked her nephew to bring them with him.

After being referred to the Public Prosecution, the suspect was charged with smuggling and possessing 240 Pregabalin pills.

“I swear to God I had no clue that it was a drug. I was on a holiday and I just took the sack from my aunt in Syria, put it in my bag and came here … I was supposed to hand it to my aunt in the UAE. I did not even look what was inside it. I have nothing to do with drugs or drinks or crime. My future will be ruined, Your Honour,” the 26-year-old suspect contended before the Dubai Court of First Instance.

The suspect’s lawyer argued before the presiding judge that his client did not have any criminal intention.

“He got married three days before he returned to the UAE. Why would he risk his future and his marriage? He was not aware of the content of what his aunt had asked him to carry,” the lawyer argued.

Records said the man’s aunt testified before the interrogating prosecutor that she is willing to be detained instead of her nephew maintaining that he had nothing to do with the drugs.

A ruling will be heard soon.