KABUL: A visitor who claimed he was forced to smuggle hashish capsules in his stomach under death threats has been jailed for 10 years.
The 50-year-old Afghan visitor, M.Z., was caught in possession of 90 capsules hidden in his intestines at the arrivals terminal of Dubai International Airport in July.
The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted M.Z. of smuggling and possessing hashish for promotional purposes.
According to the primary ruling, the accused was also fined Dh50,000. He will be deported following the completion of his punishment.
Records said law enforcement officers foiled the defendant’s bid to smuggle the hashish capsules after the special detecting device revealed strange objects in his stomach.
When he appeared in court, he claimed that he did not carry the drugs willingly.
“Two men stopped me in Kabul. They drugged me and threatened to kill me if I did not swallow the drugs and smuggle them to Dubai,” he argued in court. When asked how he was forced to swallow the pills, M.Z. argued that the men stuck a needle in his arm and drugged him.
“They made me swallow the pills and said they would kill me if I did not take the drugs and deliver them to someone in Dubai. They accompanied me to the airport and forced me on to a plane bound for Dubai. I tried to tell the passengers that those men had drugged me and coerced me to swallow drug pills … but the two men told the passengers that I was crazy,” alleged M.Z.
“I am a carpenter from Kabul. I do not know those people … they threatened to kill me. I am not guilty,” the defendant told the court.
A law enforcement officer at the airport said he suspected the defendant because he did not have any luggage except for a small nylon bag.
“When I asked him the reason for his visit, he said he planned to stay a week. Upon having him go through the detecting device, I discovered strange objects in his intestines. When I confronted him, he admitted that had swallowed drug capsules,” said the officer.
The primary ruling remains subject to appeal within 10 days.