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Dubai customs nabs 2 men for smuggling 2.04mln ban amphetamine pills

Dubai customs nabs 2 men for smuggling 2.04mln ban amphetamine pills

DUBAI: A businessman and a driver have been accused of possessing 2.04 million amphetamine pills that they hid inside chandeliers and smuggled into Dubai.
Drug enforcement officers were said to have apprehended the 44-year-old Syrian businessman, A.A., and his 32-year-old countryman driver, M.M., near Dubai Festival City following an informant’s tip off in January 2015.
Prosecutors had charged the suspects with smuggling and possessing amphetamine pills for promotional purposes.
On Tuesday, the Dubai Court of First Instance’s presiding judge Mohammad Jamal dismissed the promotional intent and modified the accusation to smuggling and possessing mind-altering substances without any intent.
A.A. and M.M. entered a not guilty plea when they appeared in court.
“I just transported the consignment but I did not know that it was a banned substance,” M.M. told presiding judge Jamal.
An anti-narcotics police lieutenant colonel testified to prosecutors that they arrested the suspects shortly after they were informed that A.A. had collected a consignment of chandeliers.
“The informant tipped us off that the defendant had imported the banned substances from an Arab country. An anti-narcotics police team accompanied the duo to the warehouse where the amphetamine pills were stacked inside 120 boxes of chandeliers. Upon confronting the suspects, A.A. claimed that his friend called him from Saudi Arabia to inform him about his plans to work in drugs in December 2014. The suspect claimed that a few days later someone called Abu Mohammad phoned him to discuss the details of their agreement … he alleged that he was offered Dh250,000 in return for working with them. A.A. claimed that Abu Mohammad sent him Dh50,000 with an acquaintance and which he used to rent a warehouse in the name of M.M. Then he collected the consignment from Dubai Cargo Village and took the chandeliers to the warehouse. Meanwhile M.M. claimed that A.A. alleged to him that the consignment had been imported from Turkey but he was not aware of its nature,” the police official claimed.
The duo will hire lawyers to defend them when the court reconvenes on May 19.