Two acquitted in document-smuggling case

Man in Turkey asked airline passenger to carry an envelope for him, prosecutors say.

ABU DHABI // Two men accused of collaborating to take forged documents from Turkey to the UAE were acquitted today at the Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday.

A third man, SS, from Turkey, accused of starting the operation, was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison. He is not in custody.

Prosecutors had said AJ, Palestinian, was asked by SS to take an envelope containing some documents with him to his wife in the UAE. He said SS had stopped him at a Turkish airport and asked him to do it as a favour.

AJ said he agreed after viewing one of the documents, which did not appear illicit.

"It happens: people ask passengers at the airport to take items on their behalf to people they know at the country of destination," AJ's lawyer had argued at a previous hearing.

When AJ reached the UAE, he tried calling the number SS gave him, but reached no one. About an hour afterward, however, he received a call from AS, an Iraqi, telling him he would meet him at the airport to pick up the envelope.

Police arrested AS as he delivered them to a lorry driver in Mussafah. He told prosecutors he did not know what was in the envelope and that he had agreed to carry it as a favour to SS.

Prosecutors say the documents were forged car ownership certificates.

Published: August 21, 2011 04:00 AM