Dubai: Drugs prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a worker accused of possessing 0.8 grams of opium for promotional purposes.

The 35-year-old Iranian worker, S.S., was said to have possessed a green plastic pouch containing less than one gram of opium, which he intended to promote to others.

Prosecutors have asked for the implementation of article 48 of the anti-narcotics law, which stipulates that a suspect who possesses drugs for promotional purposes could face the death sentence or life imprisonment.

“Yes, I possessed the opium for my personal consumption and not for promotional purposes or trading,” said S.S. before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Tuesday.

According to the charge sheet the defendant possessed drugs for promotional purposes and took morphine and codeine.

The defendant confessed to taking drugs.

When asked by presiding judge Mohammad Jamal if he was capable of hiring a lawyer, S.S. replied: “I cannot do so.”

An Emirati anti-narcotics policeman testified that an informant — the suspect’s neighbour — told them that the Iranian suspect possessed drugs that he intended to promote to others.

“Drugs prosecutors provided us with a search and arrest warrant and allowed us to arrest the suspect in a sting operation. A police team headed towards the defendant’s home in Naif. The informant was the suspect’s neighbour and lived in the same building. I was present with the informant when he called S.S. and asked him to meet us in front of the building. When the defendant came the informant asked him if he had any drugs. The Iranian said he would provide him with a piece of opium for Dh500 and would provide him with another piece later. Member of the police squad raided the place and arrested the defendant. Police seized the opium piece hidden in his pocket,” said the policeman.

Prosecution records said the defendant tested positive for drugs.

An Emirati anti-narcotics lieutenant told prosecutors that he committed a human error when he mistakenly wrote the incorrect time of the suspect’s arrest in the police report.

Presiding judge Jamal said the court will appoint a lawyer to defend S.S. when it reconvenes on December 17.