Dubai: A well-known Swedish model and television personality faces life imprisonment after a court convicted him on Wednesday of possessing 21 grams of cocaine for promotional purposes.

Drug enforcement officers were said to have arrested the 29-year-old Swedish man, F.Z., near Armani Hotel following a tip off that he possessed 11 plastic pouches of cocaine for promotional purposes.

Drugs prosecutors accused the defendant, F.A., who is a photographer born in Iran as per records, of possessing cocaine for promotional purposes.

The Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced him to life in jail and slapped him with a hefty fine of Dh50,000.

“The accused will be deported following the completion of his punishment,’ said presiding judge Maher Salama Al Mahdi in courtroom three on Wednesday.

When F.A. appeared in court, he claimed that he possessed the cocaine for personal use and not for promotion.

“I possessed the cocaine for my own consumption and not for promotional purposes,” he argued.

The defendant’s lawyer had earlier contended that the drug enforcement procedures were carried out unlawfully.

“Prosecutors’ search and arrest warrant should be voided because the tip-offs were not treated seriously. An informant had tipped off the drug enforcement officers that F.A. possessed a drug that turned out to be different from the one which was seized in his possession [cocaine]. We ask the court to disregard his confession because it was the police who questioned and confronted him with the findings although the prosecutors should have done so,” defended the lawyer.

Detainees misled and intimidated F.A. during his detention, claimed the lawyer.

“He did not possess the drug for promotion. This is the first time that he stands in court, whether it is in Dubai or his homeland Sweden. We provide the court with documents obtained from the Swedish authorities to confirm that F.A. enjoys a clean criminal record,” argued the lawyer.

An Emirati anti-narcotics police lieutenant testified that an informant alerted them that the defendant possessed drugs and was searching for a buyer.

“Drugs prosecutors authorised us on May 14 to arrest the defendant and search his residence. An informant alerted us that the defendant was present in front of a hotel in Bur Dubai… an anti-narcotics squad headed to the location and busted the suspect. We seized the cocaine in his pocket. During confrontation, the suspect admitted that he possessed the drugs for promotional purposes,” claimed the lieutenant.

F.A. has an official Facebook page that has more than 133,000 likes and he is known as an actor with a background of 10 years in the fashion and entertainment industry across 23 different countries.

The ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.