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Tourist’s life term for possessing drugs reduced to 10 years

Dubai: A tourist won his appeal and had his life sentence reduced to 10 years in jail for possessing 7.7kg of drugs that he hid under car tyres for promotional purposes.

The 29-year-old Iranian tourist was apprehended by anti-drug enforcement officers in a sting operation in July when he was seen hiding a drug pouch under car tyres at the Dubai International City.

Acting upon an informant’s tipoff, an anti-narcotics police team tasked the informant with communicating with the Iranian defendant and collect a quantity of heroin from him.

Police raided the parking area where the tourist had kept the heroin pouch and arrested him while he was walking back to his nearby residence.

Police obtained prosecutors’ warrant, raided the man’s flat and seized 12 sacks of drugs and mind-altering substances that he possessed for promotional purposes.

In February, the Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced the Iranian to life imprisonment for possessing 6.9kg of methamphetamine and 0.8kg of heroin for promotional purposes. He was also convicted of possessing 5,075 tramadol pills for promotion.

The accused appealed his primary judgement before the Appeal Court that reduced his life sentence to 10 years in jail.

Presiding judge Eisa Al Sharif also fined the defendant Dh50,000.

The defendant, who pleaded not guilty, will be deported after serving his punishment.

An anti-narcotics police lieutenant said an informant alerted them that the accused was promoting drugs among users for money.

“We asked the informant to communicate with the defendant, whom he called and arranged to get him heroin. As part of the sting operation, we monitored the defendant for a while … once he placed the drug pouch under the tyre of a parked car, we apprehended him at 11.40pm. Upon confronting him, the accused admitted that his countryman called him from Iran and instructed him to put the drugs under the car tyre in the parking lot. The seized drugs were hidden inside a cigarette pack. We raided the man’s house and found drug pills hidden behind the stove and other banned substances hidden in the couch,” the lieutenant told the court.

The defendant tested negative for drugs when he was examined.

The appellate ruling remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court.

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