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Cairo: A Kuwaiti appeals court had upheld a seven-year jail term earlier handed down to an Iraqi national convicted of smuggling drugs into the country using hang gliders, a local news portal said.

The court had confirmed a similar custodial sentence given to his Kuwaiti accomplice, added the Mediacourt website, which carries reports about court cases and legal affairs.

It was not clear when the smuggling activities at the centre of the case were carried out.

Earlier this month, Iraq, a neigbour of Kuwait, reported shooting down a locally made hang glider carrying about 1 million drug pills.

Kuwait arrested 3,000 people in drug-related cases and seized record amounts of narcotics last year, Al Qabas newspaper had earlier reported.

The offenders included 1,500 Kuwaitis, 800 stateless Bidoons, 300 Egyptian expatriates and the rest belong to Syrian, Lebanese, Indian, Bangladeshi, and Pakistani nationalities, it added.

Around 866 more expatriates were deported from Kuwait for offences of taking drugs or possessing little amounts of drugs that did not warrant registering criminal cases against them.

During the last year, Kuwaiti anti-drug police seized nearly 1,700kg of hashish, the biggest haul in a single year.

They also seized around 10 million drug pills and 30 kilograms of heroin as well as 200 kilograms of methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant locally known as shabu, according to the sources.

Kuwait applies tough penalties in drug cases, including the death penalty.