Man who smuggled heroin alongside Quran copies into Dubai has jail term reduced to 10 years

A 30-year-old man who was handed a 15-year sentence for smuggling 24 kilograms of heroin into the country had his term reduced to 10 years by Dubai Court of Appeal.

DUBAI // A 30-year-old man who was handed a 15-year sentence for smuggling 24 kilograms of heroin into the country had his term reduced to 10 years by Dubai Court of Appeal.

Pakistani MQ, who was just visiting the UAE, was arrested on June 19 for carrying the drug in five bags wrapped in black duct tape at Dubai airport’s Terminal 3.

He was charged with smuggling heroin with the intent to distribute but denied the charge, saying he had no idea what was in the sealed plastic bags.

However, he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years by the criminal court in October. He was also fined Dh200,000, which was reduced to Dh50,000 on appeal.

Emirati customs inspector HA testified that he was on a night shift when he noticed an unusual thickness in the bottom of MQ’s five bags as he arrived at Terminal 3.

“There were many praying mats inside the bags, as well as Quran copies, food and other items,” said HA. “When the bags were opened and the bottom checked, plastic bags containing suspicious powder were found.”

The inspector said he was on one X-ray scanner while his colleague was on the other and the defendant put bags on each.

“We both suspected the bags we scanned — they had double bottoms,” he said.

The defendant will be deported after completing his jail term.

salamir@thenational.ae

Published: December 16, 2014 04:00 AM

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