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Visitor to UAE, employee deny possessing 295,000 Captagon pills

Defence team claim suspects were framed by main culprit

Gulf News

Dubai: Two men denied in court on Thursday the charge of possessing around 295,000 pills of a mind-altering drug, to distribute to others.

Prosecutors charged 30-year-old Saudi visitor, B.M., and 22-year-old Emirati employee, N.M., of possessing nearly 295,000 pills of amphetamine which they intended to promote to others.

“Not true and not guilty,” said B.M. when he defended himself before the Dubai Court of First Instance.

Meanwhile, N.M., who entered an innocent plea before Presiding Judge Ali Atiyyah Sa’ad, said: “The substances were not confiscated in my possession.”

Drugs Prosecution have asked for the implementation of a life sentence and a fine of Dh200,000 against the defendants.

An Emirati anti-narcotics lieutenant colonel testified that the amphetamine pills were hidden inside textile reels and imported by someone named A.R. to Jebel Ali Port.

B.M.’s lawyer Saeed Al Ghailani argued before the court: “A.R. is the main perpetrator in this case. But what happened was that police arrested him, so he offered to cooperate with them and framed the two defendants [B.M. and N.M.]. The case was dropped against him for reasons that we are unaware of, hence out of fairness we ask the court to summon A.R. and hear his statement.”

Records said the suspects were arrested during a sting operation in a well-known hotel in Deira.

“A.R. was the one who imported the pills. Why was his case dropped and that of our clients referred to court? We need to discuss that issue with him,” advocate Al Ghailani told Presiding Judge Sa’ad.

Meanwhile N.M.’s lawyer Rashid Shahine placed the same request.

The lieutenant colonel claimed to prosecutors that an unknown person was supposed to receive the consignment [reels of textiles that contained the hidden pills] from Syria.

“The shipment was being consigned in A.R.’s name to Jebel Ali. Initially A.R. was listed as a suspect before he was released on bail after he promised to cooperate with the police.

“A.R. claimed that he got acquainted with a Syrian person named Abu Sulaiman during a wedding in Damascus. He alleged that he agreed with Abu Suleiman to dispatch the textile reels to Dubai and sell them.

“The agreement required A.R. to export the reels to Saudi Arabia in case they were not sold. Customs officers discovered nearly 500,000 pills of Captagon [that contain amphetamine].

“A.R. called Abu Sulaiman in front of us and the latter claimed that the pills contained Viagra. The Syrian man asked A.R. to pack the pills in handbags and wait for someone to contact him for delivery. Abu Sulaiman promised A.R. that he would get Dh20,000 commission. The defendants [B.M. and N.M.] were arrested in a sting operation,” claimed the lieutenant colonel.

Prosecution records cited N.M. admitting that he agreed to provide B.M. with 50 pills for his personal consumption.

The trial continues.