Dubai A driver has been jailed for 10 years for possessing around 1kg of heroin capsules that drug enforcement officers found hidden in a bag beside his bed at home.
Drug enforcement officers were tipped off by an informant in August that the 26-year-old Pakistani driver was consuming drugs and possessed some capsules that he also intended to sell in Al Ghusais.
Officers obtained prosecutors’ permission to apprehend the 26-year-old in a sting operation before an anti-narcotics police team raided a parking lot where the driver was present and arrested him.
They didn’t finds drugs or banned capsules in his possession. However, upon questioning, the defendant said he kept drug capsules in a bag at his residence in Sharjah.
Police raided the man’s flat and found a bag full of 139 heroin capsules that weighed around a kilogramme.
On Wednesday, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the defendant of possessing 1kg of drugs and fined him Dh100,000 although he pleaded not guilty.
“I did not know that those capsules were drugs and I had nothing to do with the bag,” he told the court.
Presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi said the seized drugs would be confiscated and the defendant will be deported following the completion of his punishment.
When asked about the drug bag, the defendant contended that his friend left it with him when he moved out from his old residence in Ajman to a new house in Sharjah.
“It had been left with me for three months but I never knew that the bag contained drugs and I never opened the bag. I was planning to give it back to my friend once he returned from Pakistan,” he argued in court.
An anti-narcotic police lieutenant said the accused was apprehended following a tip-off that he was planning to sell heroin.
“After obtaining prosecutors’ permission, we apprehended him near the Roads and Transport Authority building ... when we asked him if he had any drugs on him, he said no and when we searched him, we didn’t find anything. He claimed that he had a bag at his home and that it contained some drug capsules but he was not aware what type of drug it was. We seized the bag beside his bed and it contained 139 heroin capsules,” the lieutenant said.
Wednesday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.