Marijuana smuggler breaks into tears in court

Woman suspect beseech for mercy, contends in court she was not aware marijuana is illegal in UAE

Dubai: A woman visitor broke down in tears and pleaded for mercy as she contended that she wasn’t aware that possessing marijuana is incriminated in Dubai, a court heard on Thursday.

A female customs inspector was said to have suspected that the 27-year-old Indian woman was carrying banned substances as she picked her luggage from the conveyors belt in March.

Once the visitor reached the customs checkpoint at the Dubai International Airport, the inspector asked her, according to records, to have her luggage scanned.

As the scanning showed some strange objects inside a carton, the inspector asked if the woman had anything to declare but she replied in the negative.

When the inspector opened up the box, she found 10 plastic pouches of marijuana.

After that the 27-year-old woman and her 26-year-old countryman visitor were apprehended.

Drugs prosecutors accused the two suspects of smuggling and possessing 7.4kg of marijuana for promotional purposes.

When the duo appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Thursday, presiding judge Urfan Omar modified the charge to smuggling and possessing drugs without any particular intent.

The woman contended that a person handed her the carton and she knew that it contained marijuana.

“He gave me the substance to deliver it to a person herein. I did not know that marijuana is incriminated in the UAE. In my country, it is legal. I am worried about a stern punishment over something that is not punishable at home at all,” she said while crying.

The woman suspect beseeched presiding judge Omar for leniency and forgiveness.

Meanwhile, the 26-year-old suspect strongly refuted the charges.

He contended in court: “I had nothing to do with the carton. I did not touch it or know anything about its content. She was the one who received it at the airport.”

The customs inspector told prosecutors that the woman visitor told her she had nothing to declare.

“As she put her luggage for scanning, I noticed some strange objects in the carton. Upon opening the carton, I found 10 plastic pouches that contained marijuana. Initially, she denied that she had anything to do with the findings … then she claimed that she had collected the drugs to hand them over to the male suspect,” the customs inspector told prosecutors.

A ruling in the case will be heard on July 30.

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