Dubai shop owner and sons accused of selling banned poppy seeds

Dubai Criminal Court heard that AMS, 68, a Bangladeshi, had been selling the banned seeds for more than 30 years and that his sons AAS, 28 and SS, 33 had been helping their father.

DUBAI // A grocery shop owner had allegedly been selling poppy seeds for 30 years when he and his two sons were caught with more than four kilograms of the banned produce, a court was told on Tuesday.

Dubai Criminal Court heard that Bangladeshi A M S, 68, planned to sell the poppy seeds with the help of his A A S, 28, and S S, 33.

Their compatriot and shop worker E A, 60, was also accused of helping to sell the seeds.

Police raided the Al Sabhka shop on September 20.

“We identified ourselves as police officers and asked them if they possessed any drugs,” said S A, 25, an anti-narcotics officer.

“The father said they used to have some but they didn’t any more, but when we searched the store we found the seeds hidden inside plastic bags.”

“The father then confessed and said he knew it was banned and that he instructed his sons to get rid of it but they did not.”

A M S told prosecutors that an Indian man had delivered the poppy seeds but he had no idea about their origin.

“The sons said their father used to send them to get the seeds, but they stopped selling them four months before their arrest because a [neighbouring] store owner was arrested for possessing 163kg of poppy seeds,” said S A.

The officer said E A confessed that his job was to store and sell the seeds, while his boss kept sales accounts for three decades.

The prosecutors said all the defendants confessed to selling the seeds but claimed that they did not know the product was banned in the UAE.

Yesterday in court, all four men denied a charge of possessing drugs with intent to sell.

The next hearing is scheduled for January 12.

salamir@thenational.ae

Published: December 29, 2015 04:00 AM

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