Dubai: A housewife claimed in court on Sunday that the poppy seeds that she was caught carrying at the airport were for cooking and she didn’t know that they were a banned substance.

Law enforcement officers were said to have stopped the 33-year-old Indian housewife, A.G., in possession of 255gm of poppy seeds at Dubai International Airport in August.

Drugs prosecutors accused A.G. of smuggling and possessing poppy seeds for her personal consumption.

“I did bring those seeds with me, but I did not know that it was a banned substance. I usually buy them for cooking,” argued the suspect when she entered a not guilty plea before the Dubai Court of First Instance.

“How come you did not know? Didn’t you know that these seeds are used for growing?” presiding judge Mohammad Jamal asked the suspect.

“Not at all. In my country, we use these seeds for cooking. I did not know that it is a banned substance,” she replied.

Meanwhile A.G.’s lawyer Saeed Al Gailani contended in court that his client was unfoundedly and illegally detained by Customs officers at the airport.

“Why did the Customs officer stop her? What did she do? What sort of suspicious behaviour did she commit to be detained and searched? Nothing. She did nothing wrong. The Customs officer did not have the legal justification to stop her. The law enforcement procedures were carried out improperly and unlawfully against my client,” contended Al Gailani.

“The defendant is a mother of five children and she wouldn’t have risked her life and that of her family had she known that those seeds were drugs,” the lawyer told the court.

“She usually buys such seeds for cooking. Those seeds are sold in prepacked nylon sacks and it is not mentioned on them that they are drugs. The packaging just reads seeds … she brought them for cooking and did not know that it could be grown and used as a drug,” argued Al Gailani, who produced three packages as a sample before the bench of judges.

The lawyer further asked the court to dismiss his client’s accusation and acquit her.

The defendant was denied bail and she remains in custody until the court hands out a verdict on November 17.