Saudi charged with drug offence in Dubai

A Saudi man, 46, was arrested for possessing hashish, while a woman, 30, was charged with drug use.

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DUBAI // A Saudi man and his Moroccan companion arrested at a Dubai hotel 10 days ago have been charged with drug offences, a source familiar with the case said. The male suspect, identified as FH, 46, has been charged with trafficking, possessing and using hashish, while a woman, named as AS, 30, was charged with drug use. Some media reports said the man is a judge in his home country, but that could not be confirmed. A source close to the case said: "The records show he is a visitor but his profession was not mentioned."

On its website, the Saudi Press Agency said: "The Ministry of Justice in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has no information on this alleged news and whether it is correct or not. However, it should be known that the name mentioned in the news is not among the names of the judges affiliated to the Ministry of Justice." The pair were arrested at a hotel near Wafi City on Aug 1. The Saudi ministry of justice, which is investigating the report, will issue a statement on its findings, according to the SPA.

Dubai has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs, and the minimum sentence for possession is four years. Statistics from the UAE Ministry of Interior showed that in 2007, authorities arrested 1,744 people for drug offences. Of them, 1,665 were men of different nationalities, while 79 were women, all expatriates. The quantities seized that year included 858kg of hashish, 180kg of heroin, 9kg of opium and 5,333,174 banned tablets.