Jail for man who smuggled poppy seeds into Dubai ‘for cooking’

45-year-old Indian told the court he bought a bag of what he thought were cooking spices without knowing they contained poppy seeds.

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DUBAI // A man who was caught at Dubai Airport trying to smuggle in 102 grammes of poppy seeds told a court yesterday that he wanted to use them for cooking spicy food.

S A, a 45-year-old Indian, told the Dubai Criminal Court that he bought a bag of spices without knowing they contained poppy seeds.

“I bought garam masalla and biryani spices,” the defendant told the court.

Prosecutors said that on May 25 this year, S A arrived at Dubai International Airport. “I searched his luggage and found a plastic bag containing the seeds, I asked him about their nature and he said they were poppy seeds and that he brought them to cook with,” said Emirati policewoman, A M.

“No, I didn’t know they were poppy seeds. I bought spices and thought they were spices unknowing about their true nature,” S A told the presiding judge.

Prosecutors said the seeds were ready to be planted and that the defendant confessed that he brought them for purposes of consumption.

S A, who was sentenced to four years in prison, had denied smuggling and possessing the drugs. He will be deported after the completion of his jail term.