Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter
A differently-abled passenger and his countryman who had a stash of heroin inside a wheelchair and shoes must see out their tough punishment, the Appeals Court has upheld.
The wheelchair-bound Asian salesman, 40, arrived at the Dubai International Airport with a compatriot worker, 31, on Mar.26 with 2.223kg of heroin, according to Airport Security Department records.
He had four translucent rolls wrapped with duct-tape stashed in his bag and two rolls stashed inside his wheelchair. They contained 1696.2g in total. The worker’s shoes contained two rolls stuffed with 527.3g.
In court, both men contended they were not aware of the nature of the substance they were carrying. The Criminal Court sentenced each one to ten years in jail plus a Dhs50,000 fine to be followed by deportation.
The duo appealed the ruling in a bid to get a reduced punishment. They sought mercy. However, the Dubai Appeals Court has found them guilty, dismissed their pleas and upheld the lower court’s decision. An Arab customs officer said, “A colleague in the arrivals hall suspected the worker’s movement. A scanner detected weird lumps in his shoes. We opened them and removed a suspicious brown substance.”
His bag was suspected by another inspector. “The inspector felt strange lumps in the bag’s corners. An inspector monitored it until it reached the conveyer belt. The worker picked it along with the salesman’s wheelchair.”
Thereafter, an airport wheelchair services employee arrived with the salesman who was on a wheelchair belonging to the airport. Inspectors referred his bag and wheelchair to the X-ray scanner for examination. A female inspector at the scanner discovered four rolls full of a brown substance inside the bag. She suspected the wheelchair’s tyres also contained similar suspicious lumps. Inspectors opened its right tyre.
It contained a similar suspicious roll. They perforated the wheelchair’s iron pipes searching for more. They detected brown powder billowing from them. Both were referred to the Antinarcotics Department.
In a separate case, the Appeals Court upheld the seven year jail term, Dhs50,000 fine and deportation penalty the Criminal Court issued against a mule who arrived with meth in his guts.
The Asian salesman, 24, swallowed 50 capsules stuffed with 534.62g. He arrived at around 9pm on April 14 walking uneasily. Inspectors were frisking him when he asked to go to the toilet.
In court, he contended that a man in his homeland commissioned him to deliver them to a recipient in the UAE. And that he was not aware they contained a psychoactive substance.
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