For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: A passenger has been jailed for 10 years for smuggling 1.35kg of cocaine in transit in a handbag that he claimed to have been carrying to his uncle in Thailand.

A customs inspector stopped the 34-year-old Pakistani man at the Dubai International Airport’s transit section to have his carry-on luggage scanned in September 2018.

As the inspector detected a strange thick item in one of the small bags, the accused replied that he was not carrying anything that required declaration.

The customs inspector opened the bag and found two envelopes that contained cocaine that the passenger said he was not aware of.

The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the man of smuggling cocaine via Dubai in transit.

Presiding judge Habib Awad also slapped the accused a fine of Dh50,000.

When he appeared in court, the suspect pleaded innocent and contended that the case was fabricated.

“It was brought against me out of malice,” the defendant argued before presiding judge Awad.

The accused will be deported after serving his jail term.

The inspector said: “Upon scanning his bags, I detected a thick item and found that one of the bags contained cocaine. The passenger admitted that it was his bag but he said that he was not aware of the drugs that was in a smaller bag. He said his cousin gave him the small bag and asked him to deliver it to his uncle in Thailand. The anti-narcotics department alerted me that the defendant was aware of the banned substance and that he had earlier been involved in similar incidents previously. I was told that he was one involved in smuggling drugs inside his intestines but when his companion died, he absconded from the country before being exposed and apprehended.”

The primary ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.