American teacher cleared by Dubai court after drug parcel seizure

A package of marijuana posted to Dubai carried her mobile phone number, but police found no evidence to link her to the drugs

A schoolteacher working in Abu Dhabi has been cleared by a court after a package containing drugs with her phone number displayed on it was uncovered by customs officials.

The packet containing 199 grams of marijuana was delivered to a Dubai branch of Emirates Post Office in August last year.

While it was addressed to a different person, it carried the teacher's contact number.

Customs officers routinely scan mail to ensure that it does not contain illicit material or substances. An arrest warrant was subsequently issued for the American.

She was arrested by police at Abu Dhabi International Airport as she prepared to fly home to the US on vacation during the school holidays on July 3 this year.

The case was referred to Dubai Police's anti-narcotics team because the drugs were found in the emirate.

The PE teacher declined to give police a urine sample as part of their investigations until she had spoken to her lawyer.

She was prosecuted for refusing to comply with the request and held in custody for nearly two months as she awaited a court date.

She denied a charge of refraining from following prosecution orders during a hearing on August 24.

A police officer told judges at Dubai's Court of Misdemeanours the defendant refused to give a urine sample and refused to sign a urine test application as part of the investigation process.

“I tried to convince her twice but she refused to do so before talking to her lawyer,” the officer said.

But the woman's lawyer said she was merely exercising her right to seek legal counsel.

“She didn’t refuse, she simply asked to speak to me as her lawyer but she was denied that right and was told she would face charges for obstructing legal procedures,” Awatif Mohammed from Al Rowaad Advocates told the court.

Ms Mohammed said her client was asked to provide a urine sample despite the absence of a prosecution order.

“She was terrified because the charge she was faced with at the drug force department was importing drugs,” the lawyer told judges. She also said investigations revealed that her client was not involved in ordering the package.

The woman was cleared of the charge and faces no further investigation over the drug package.

Updated: October 21st 2021, 4:09 AM