Ex-fugitive drug mule loses clemency plea - GulfToday

Ex-fugitive drug mule loses clemency plea

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The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter

An ex-fugitive mule whose accomplice died after drugs split inside his stomach lost an appeal against his punishment at the Dubai Appeals Court on Wednesday.

The Asian defendant –a visitor, 34- managed to flee the country several years ago after the death of a fellow mule in a botched drug smuggling operation that saw drugs busting in his stomach, records showed.

He was on Sept.22 intercepted at the Dubai International Airport while trying to transit through the country carrying a leather handbag containing two cartons stuffed with 1351.4 grammes of cocaine.

He denied the charge during court questioning on Dec.10. He contended that the case was cooked up and malicious. The Dubai Criminal Court found him guilty and sentenced him to ten years in jail.

The court additionally slapped him with a Dhs50, 000 fine to be followed by deportation. He insisted he was innocent and appealed seeking to challenge the ruling. However, the Dubai Appeals Court upheld it.

An Emirati customs inspector, 28, said antinarcotics officers suspected the defendant. “I asked him whether he had anything to declare. He said no. I asked him to hand me the Duty Free plastic bag he was carrying.

“I checked it and saw a leather handbag containing a weird lump. A baggage scanner showed it contained suspicious substances. There were two rolls wrapped in duct tape containing a cocaine-like substance.

“I confronted him about them. He contended he had nothing to do with the seizures. He claimed his cousin in Pakistan asked him to deliver the bag to his uncle in Thailand. And that he was transiting through Dubai.” The inspector said the defendant would have easily realised beforehand the handbag was stuffed with something since it was unusually heavier than an empty bag in case his uncle told him it was empty as he claimed.

The inspector added, “The Antinarcotics Department notified me the defendant was a wanted man who had been smuggling drugs into the UAE and other countries. He earlier smuggled in narcotic capsules with his friend. The mission went awry for his friend. He died. The defendant fled the country for fear investigators would detect his role and arrest him.”

Records showed customs officers handed the defendant to the Dubai Police Antinarcotics Department. A report from the Department of Forensic Science and Criminology confirmed the seized white powder was cocaine.