Two men in Abu Dhabi have been sentenced to death for drugs offences.
Abu Dhabi Judicial Department said the Filipinos were guilty of possessing and dealing narcotics and psychotropic substances.
The Criminal Court of Abu Dhabi heard how the men were paid to deal drugs on behalf of overseas criminals. It was these criminals who gave the two Filipinos the location of isolated spots where they could collect the drugs.
The drugs were then sorted, divided and packaged for distribution. Pictures of the drugs and their co-ordinates were then forwarded by dealers to customers on WhatsApp.
Following a police investigation, the case was referred to Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution and a warrant was issued for the arrest of the suspects and a search of their homes.
Police found a suspicious crystalline substance in their residences that, following analysis, turned out to be a prohibited psychotropic substance. Officers also found the devices used by the two Filipinos to sell the drugs on social media.
The court ordered the confiscation and destruction of the seized products, including the mobile devices and all other objects used in the crime. The proceeds of the drug trafficking were also confiscated.
As part of a major shift towards rehabilitation and leniency, recent changes to the law mean judges have more discretion when dealing with addicts and people caught with small amounts of drugs.
But sentences for people caught with quantities that fall under dealing and supplying remain stringent, with life imprisonment and even the death penalty remaining an option for judges.