Clearing agents acquitted of bid to smuggle drugs in UAE

Clearing agents acquitted of bid to smuggle drugs in UAE

Abu Dhabi - The seized drugs were handed over to the Anti-Narcotics Department and the Ministry of Health and Prevention.



By Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Mon 26 Mar 2018, 4:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 26 Mar 2018, 6:31 PM

The Federal Supreme Court has cleared the manager of a clearing firm and his worker of the charges of attempting to smuggle more than 152,000 capsules of anesthetic drugs into the UAE because of lack of sufficient evidence.
Court records stated that the Pakistani men were arrested after custom officers found the huge amount of psychotropic drugs being hidden in one of the containers on the ship. The container had been packed with products such as hair dye, cosmetics, soap and some foodstuff that were being imported from Pakistan.
Prosecutors said two cartons containing 152,720 anesthetic pills, which are restricted in the UAE, were found mixed with other products.
The customs officers had waited for the manager and owner of the clearing company that was responsible for clearing the container to come and clear the shipment. And after receiving the documents from him, which contained all items in the container and had no mention about the psychotropic medicines, the man and one of his workers, with whom they were clearing the container, were detained and referred to the public prosecution.
The seized drugs were handed over to the Anti-Narcotics Department and the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
Officers said the men connived with another person in Pakistan to try to smuggle the prescription-only medicines into the UAE.
Prosecutors had charged the pair with attempting to smuggle anesthetic drugs into the UAE.
The Pakistani men denied the charges. The company owner said that a customer from Pakistan had asked him to clear the shipment and hand it over to another person in the UAE.
"The customer told me that the shipment contained food, clothes, cosmetics and other goods. He didn't mention about the psychotropic medicines in the papers he sent me," said the manager of the clearing company.
"The man sent the shipment in his own name and through a courier company. My job was only to clear the shipment at the customs office. I knew nothing about the drugs inside the container."
Both the first instance and the appeal courts had convicted the pair of attempting to smuggle the drugs, but the Pakistani challenged the ruling at the UAE's top court.
The defence lawyer, Ali Al Abadi, argued in the Supreme Court that there was no substantial evidence to prove that his clients knew that the container had medicines prohibited in the UAE as their only role was to clear the shipment and hand it over to other persons.
The judge decided to acquit the pair of the charges, stressing that the evidence submitted by prosecutors were not enough to prove that the clearing agents had a connection in the attempted smuggle of the drugs.
ismail@khaleejtimes.com
 


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