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Abu Dhabi: Ten defendants were sentenced to death after they were found guilty of smuggling drugs, including heroin, into the country through the Red Sea, Egypt’s Red Sea Criminal Court ruled on Sunday.

The convicts include seven Pakistanis, two Egyptians and an Iranian, were found guilty of smuggling two tons of heroin into the Red Sea, valued at 2.05 billion Egyptian pounds (Dh479 million).

In April 2019, Egypt’s armed forces and police foiled the smuggling of 2,147 kilograms of heroin, 99 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (ICE), and banknotes on a ship in the Red Sea.

The Interior Ministry stated that the sector to combat drugs and organised crime and the National Security Agency received information on a ship carrying the flag of a foreign country in the Red Sea that transported drug shipments to Egypt’s mainland.

The ministry added that the army and police surveilled the ship and identified members of the gang involved in the smuggling operation, including two Egyptians, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with drug cases and the carrying of unlicensed arms, in addition to another eight foreign smugglers.

The ministry said the military and police found a secret compartment in the ship, where they seized a large quantity of narcotic substances including 1,900 containers of crude heroin, 99 rolls of ICE drugs in addition to 305,000 Iranian Riyals, 3,375 Shekels, $171 and four mobile phones.

This ruling can be appealed within two months.