Woman, 65, jailed for one year for drug smuggling ‘mistake’

The woman told customs inspectors she was to be paid Dh700 for smuggling 13,000 banned tablets into Dubai.

DUBAI // A 65-year-old woman who told a court that she made a mistake in agreeing to carry bags with more than 13,000 banned tablets inside through the airport was jailed for a year on Monday.

The Dubai Criminal Court heard that on the morning of November 9 last year, customs inspectors suspected something unusual about the luggage belonging to H M, from Pakistan, as she arrived at Dubai International Airport.

“We found the tablets, which are controlled by the Ministry of Health in the UAE, but as we took them out of her bags, she was simply taking them and placing them back into the bags,” testified Emirati inspector A A, 45.

He added that when she was questioned about the 13,180 Alprazolam pills, the woman, who confessed to the crime in court, said that a Pakistani man had given her the package and told her that a man will meet her at her hotel in Naif to collect it.

She also told inspectors that a countrywoman met her at the airport and gave her a bag, asking her to carry it out of the airport for her. “She [the defendant] was scared and confused and said that she was promised 20,000 Pakistani Rupees [Dh706],” added the inspector.

H M, who said she had made a mistake, was also fined Dh20,000 and will be deported after serving her jail term.