DUBAI: Dubai Two merchants and a trading company manager have been accused of importing 35 million banned pills and 2.5 tonnes of tramadol for promotional purposes through Jebel Ali Port.
The Iranian merchants, 42-year-old H.M. and 41-year-old J.A., and the Bangladeshi manager, M.K., were said to have imported a container in which Dubai Customs inspectors discovered the 2.5 tonnes of banned pills in January.
Drugs prosecutors charged the trio of importing the 35 million pills of diphenoxylate and 2,500kg of tramadol pills for promotional purposes.
A customs inspector at the port discovered the banned substances, according to records, once he discovered a difference between the actual components in the container and those listed on the bill of lading.
The suspects pleaded not guilty before the Dubai Court of First Instance.
A senior customs inspection officer testified to prosecutors that two inspectors, who were conducting an ordinary check up on the container, discovered medicines and products that weren’t listed on the bill of lading.
“We summoned the manager of the trading company that had imported the container … it turned out to be M.K. When we confronted him with the findings, he claimed that he had provided his company’s import code to a customs broker and paid him Dh1,000 to import legal products. We summoned the broker and questioned him about the importer of the container and he told us that it belonged to one of the suspects. Further interrogations revealed that the importing licence of M.K.’s company had been used to import the container,” the officer claimed to prosecutors.
Available records did not mention how, when and where the suspects were apprehended.
Dubai police’s forensic examination report confirmed that the seized substances contained drugs (diphenoxylate) and mind-altering substances (tramadol).