Stolen painkillers 'sold on black market'

A pharmaceutical company employee has been accused of stealing drugs from the company where he worked and selling them to women who sold them in turn to drug addicts.

DUBAI // A drug company employee ran a racket dealing in thousands of dirhams worth of pharmaceuticals stolen from his employers, a court heard.

MA, 29, from Egypt, stole hundreds of Tramadol tablets from the Modern Pharmaceutical Company, where he worked as a marketing representative, then passed them on to a ring of Filipina women for sale on the black market, the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours heard.

MA denies the charges.

Prosecutors say that MA and RS, 36, a Filipina, trafficked in 580 Tramadol pills - opiate-based painkillers - without a licence.

RS confessed in court on Thursday. Two other female defendants, JD, 28, and KA, 25, both Filipinas, denied charges of aiding and abetting MA and RS in illegally selling banned drugs, the court heard.

An anti-narcotics officer testified that authorities received information that RS was illegally selling drugs in Al Hamriya area where she lived.

The officer, OJ, 30, said that police contacted RS, and a member of his team posed as an interested buyer, setting up a meeting at the Hamir Ain shopping centre in Deirah on November 10 last year.

RS was arrested in the sting operation, attempting to sell 580 Tramadol tablets for Dh5,100. She denied knowing that the tablets were banned. JD and KA were arrested at the centre while watching the deal. Both women told prosecutors that they did not know anything about the drugs.

MA was arrested on the same day in his car outside the centre while waiting for RS to give him the money, prosecutors said. He was found to be in possession of Tramadol tablets, but told arresting officers that the tablets belonged to RS.

The case was adjourned until May 10.