British woman jailed for 10 years in UAE drug smuggling case

The 31-year-old was found in possession of CBD oil, cocaine and cannabis

A closeup shot shows the facade of the Dubai Courts building during a hearing on April 04, 2010 in the case of a British couple sentenced to a month in jail after being convicted of kissing in public in a restaurant in the Muslim Gulf emirate. The couple's lawyer said the appeals court upheld the one-month prison sentence against the two, named by the British press as Ayman Najafi, 24, a British expat, and tourist Charlotte Lewis, 25. The couple were arrested in November 2009, after they were accused of consuming alcohol and kissing in a restaurant in the trendy Jumeirah Beach Residence neighbourhood.     AFP PHOTO/STR / AFP PHOTO
Powered by automated translation

A British woman has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for smuggling e-cigarettes filled with a cannabis extract into the UAE.

Dubai Criminal Court heard how the 31-year-old was found in possession of cannabidiol (CBD) oil on landing at Dubai International Airport.

Customs officers also found 1.4g of cocaine and 6.3g of cannabis hashish in her luggage.

CBD oil does not cause a “high” in the same way that Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC in cannabis is known to, but it is illegal in the Emirates.

The woman was arrested on April 9 this year although court records did not indicate where she was flying into the country from.

Officers found 307 vape pods containing CBD oil in her possession. The pods are refillable cartridges of liquid that typically contain nicotine.

The liquid is heated by a battery in the e-cigarette, causing the contents to vaporise and allowing it to be inhaled by the smoker.

Last month, the woman denied all charges of drug smuggling. But on Wednesday she was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years and a Dh50,000 fine.

Her lawyer Saeed Matar, said his client was innocent and would appeal the sentence.

“It was proven during questioning - through her affidavit and that of the customs officer - that the pods were visible, which indicates she did not know they were filled with CBD oil or else she would have tried to hide them more professionally,” he said.

Dubai Police’s anti-narcotics department arrested 97 people for using and possessing CBD oil in the first three months of 2019, up from just two cases in the same period last year.