UAE: Drug dealers sentenced to life get reduced jail terms

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on April 27, 2021
Photo: AFP

An undercover police agent had posed as a buyer and contacted the pair, claiming that he wanted some narcotics.

Two men, who were convicted of possessing, dealing and consuming hashish, have had their life sentences reduced to two years on appeal.

Official court documents stated that the men, an Arab national and another from a GCC nation, were arrested after investigations confirmed that they possessed drugs.


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Prosecutors said police had monitored the movements of the two men after being notified by secret sources that they possessed narcotics and psychotropic substances.

An undercover police agent had posed as a buyer and contacted the pair, claiming that he wanted some narcotics.

The men came in a Range Rover with a small amount hashish, which they wanted to sell to the police agent. They were, however, busted by the police team that had the area surrounded.

During interrogations, the defendants admitted to possessing narcotic substances for personal use. They denied dealing in drugs, stressing that the quantity of hashish found in their possession and later seized by authorities was too small to be considered suitable for trafficking.

The Federal Court of First Instance had earlier sentenced the men to life in jail after they were found guilty of dealing, possessing and consuming hashish.

The men challenged the ruling at the Federal Appeals Court, stressing that they were wrongly convicted.


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Their lawyer argued before the Appeals Court that prosecutors didn’t present sufficient evidence to prove that his clients were really trafficking drugs. He requested that the charges be amended to possessing drugs for personal use.

After hearing from all parties, the Appeals Court judge cancelled the first ruling and instead convicted the men of possessing and consuming drugs and gave them two years in jail.

The judge said in his ruling that the investigation papers presented to the court indicated that a very small amount of drugs was seized from the men and therefore such a quantity didn’t represent trafficking in drugs.

One of the men will be deported after serving his jail sentence.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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