1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP

4 years for 1/100 g of hash-- don't go to Dubai!

Rating:
4/5,
  1. enquirewithin
    Middle East: Don't Take Your Doobies to Dubai

    dubai_marina_palm.jpg

    from Drug War Chronicle, Issue #489, 6/8/07Travelers headed to Dubai should take a thorough inventory before heading for the airport. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently taking an extremely hard line on cannabis offenses. Last week, an Italian visitor was sentenced to years in prison for a microscopic portion of hashish, and this week, a British citizen faces a similar punishment for inadvertently carrying a similarly miniscule amount of hash and marijuana.

    On May 31, the Dubai Court of First Instance found a 24-year-old Italian man identified only by the initials "A.D." guilty of smuggling and possessing 1/100th of a gram of hash after he arrived at the airport. The quantity discovered -- 1/2800th of an ounce -- is too small to be usable and so tiny that the fact it was detected at all is remarkable.

    A.D. told the court he did not realize the hash was there. "I didn't intend to bring the drugs," he told presiding Judge Abdul Majid Al Nezamy. "I forgot it in the inner pocket of my jacket."
    That didn't matter to Judge Al Nezamy, who sentenced the unfortunate Italian to four years in prison to be followed by deportation.

    Now a 25-year-old Briton known as "W.H." faces the same fate. He was busted coming in with 0.07 grams of marijuana and "two barely noticeable slivers of hashish," as the Gulf Times put it. Again, the hapless traveler said he had forgotten the drugs were there. "I wrongly forget them in my pockets," W.H. told the court.
    W.H. goes back to court next week. A.D. is already serving his sentence.

Comments

  1. enquirewithin
    [h2]Court sentences visitor to jail in hashish case[/h2]
    Gulf News Published: 01/06/2007

    By Bassam Za'za', Staff Reporter

    Dubai: A tiny 0.01 gm of hashish has landed an Italian visitor behind bars for four years.

    The Dubai Court of First Instance found the 24-year-old Italian visitor, A.D., guilty of smuggling and possessing 0.01 gm of hashish for personal use, as charged by the Public Prosecution.

    He will be deported after serving his jail term.

    "I didn't intend to bring the drugs. "I forgot it in the inner pocket of my jacket," the defendant told the court.

    "I forgot it in my clothes before coming here. I am so sorry for that," A.D. told presiding judge Abdul Majid Al Nezamy last week.

    The Customs inspector who seized the drugs said in his statement: "I suspected the visitor at Dubai airport's customs desk and asked to search him."

    The initial verdict is still subject to appeal.
  2. D.U.M.B
    That is shocking, four years for such a small amount. What kind of law system is being operated over there
  3. enquirewithin
    A very primitive legal system apparently! I don't know how they could even find such a small amount.

    Dubai is built by foreign workers from the Asian sub-continent and other places who are paid very little and have no rights whatsoever.
  4. Sitbcknchill
    Yeah to give a little insite on how the people are treated (from wiki). Oddly enough it sounds like a familiar place.:


    Living conditions of the over 250,000 expatriate laborers in Dubai who live in conditions described by Human Rights Watch as being "less than human" [38] have often been criticized. [39] NPR reports that workers "typically live eight to a room, sending home a portion of their salary to their families, whom they don't see for years at a time." The BBC has reported that "local newspapers often carry stories of construction workers allegedly not being paid for months on end. They are not allowed to move jobs and if they leave the country to go home they will almost certainly lose the money they say they are owed. [40]. In September 2005, the Minister of Labour ordered one company to pay unpaid salaries within 24 hours after workers protested, and published the name of the offending company. [41]. In December 2005, the Indian consulate in Dubai submitted a report to the Government of India detailing labor problems faced by Indian expatriates in the emirate. The report highlighted delayed payment of wages, substitution of employment contracts, premature termination of services and excessive working hours as being some of the challenges faced by Indian workers in the city. On 21 March 2006, workers at the construction site of Burj Dubai, upset over bus timings and working conditions, rioted damaging cars, offices, computers, and construction tools [42] [43] [44].


    Prostitution, though illegal by law, is conspicuously present in the emirate because of an economy that is largely based on tourism and trade. Research conducted by the American Center for International Policy Studies (AMCIPS) found that Russian and Ethiopian women are the most common prostitutes, some African countries as well, while Indian prostitutes are part of a well organized trans-Oceanic prostitution network [45].
  5. podge
    Thats absolutley insane. Swim might be going to quatar which is quite near dubai, this article may have put swim off intirely.
  6. enquirewithin
    They are building a city as playground for the rich. Everything is very expensive, but tacky and vulgar. On the surface it looks impressive but is rotten beneath the surface! They have the world's only 7 star hotel (whatever that means), but no respect for human rights.

    The workers who build it would never be able to buy a drink in the bar (if they were allowed in).
  7. Triple7
    This is truly greed.. slavery and prostitution is allowed to improve the economy.. but insignificant amount of 10mg hashish isn't allowed. Both the slavery and jail sentences are human right violations. SWIM said known prostitutes are very welcomed by Dubai immigration.
  8. NewEraResearch

    This is complete insanity, everyone should make sure to double and triple check themselves before any traveling especially in an airplane. I only hope one day the world is realize that just because you use any substance recreationally dosen't make you a criminal. (though i do NOT advocate any usage at all and believe most substances do more HARM then good)
  9. Bajeda
    The ironic thing is that hash is not especially hard to come by in the UAE, including Dubai. Why they are making such a fuss over such things is beyond me. Perhaps they just want to appear that they are doing something, much like the American drug authorities try to show themselves as. Maybe they are trying to impress other countries where strict drug policy is politically favorable, who knows.

    I can just see some DEA guys reading this and wishing they could do the same.
  10. enquirewithin
    More from Dubai!

    Presumably hashish is has been part of their culture for many years, but this policy still goes on. Dubai is not high on my list of desirable places to visit. How may years will this hapless individual get?

  11. anj0vis
    Yes, if the rumours are true, Dubai is actually _the_ party place for nearby arabs and rich sheiks, including various legal and illegal drugs (and forementioned prostitutes of course). I guess the profits must be rather huge on drug trade there, I bet rich sheiks and arabs pay hefty amounts for a safe delivery of "fun powder" to their hotel room. On the other hand, I suspect the drug trade is in the hands of the few, if you face such a risk from such a small amount, you better trade big time then. It doesn't matter if you are caught with 10 grams or 10 kilograms, you are dead anyways. I wonder if the drug related violence rises there, as the safety measures against the jail/capital punishment would propably include some guns etc... well, I am sure we'll hear about it later.

    I definitely want to see Dubai in person, the craziest vegas-strip on earth right now.
  12. Trebor
    Swim visits Asia frequently and has never had a problem with authorities over Siwm's weed. On his travels he has discovered that foreigners are generally left alone. Arabic regions though..., My dad once broke the Iranian speed limit and they nealry decapitated him.
  13. Bajeda
    They don't decapitate in Iran, thats Saudi you are thinking of. In Iran they hang people.

    You can get away with alot in some Arab countries, it just depends on what. Also you don't want to get caught so far as some things are concerned, but again it depends on the country and who you are.
  14. Alfa
    Do they have the Islamic religious 'police'(dont remember the name) there, like in Saudi? In Saudi they are allowed to throw stones at you if you breach their rules.
  15. enquirewithin
    I assume that local Arabs almost never get busted in places like Dubai?
  16. Bajeda
    No, they do. Just not if they are related to the right people.


    You mean the mutawa'iin. They don't throw stones at you, or at least not that I know. They can arrest you, and if you are Asian or some other miniority they may beat you with clubs, though I'm not sure about the frequency of this, particularly with their own citizens. Otherwise they will simply arrest you.

    The UAE doesn't have special religious police, or at least not that I know of. Alcohol is also legal there, though only in licensed establishments.
  17. Euphoric
    B.C. man jailed in Dubai drug case

    Canadian UN official jailed 4 years in Dubai

    Jun 19, 2007 08:07 PM


    The family of a Canadian UN official sentenced to four years in a Dubai prison on drug charges is hoping he may be released this fall when clemency is often granted to prisoners, the man's father said Tuesday.


    Amnesty is usually extended to some prisoners in the United Arab Emirates to mark the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins in mid-September, Charlie Tatham said from his home in Duntroon, Ont., just south of the Georgian Bay community of Collingwood.


    "Our attention would be focused on trying to get Bert's name on that list," he added.


    Bert Tatham, 35, who advised the Afghan government on eradicating opium poppy crops, was arrested in April during a layover at Dubai International Airport while en route to Canada from Afghanistan.


    The Vancouver resident was caught with 0.6 grams of hashish and two poppy bulbs, and pleaded not guilty during an arraignment last week. His lawyer is expected to appeal the sentence handed down Tuesday.


    The prison sentence is a "cruel reward" for the dangerous work his son did in Kandahar, his father said.


    Bert Tatham worked as a consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and as an adviser to the Afghan government's poppy elimination program, which aims to convince Afghan farmers to stop growing poppies, which are used for production of opium and then heroin.


    He reportedly stopped in Dubai to buy a gold watch and possibly an engagement ring for his girlfriend in Victoria, Sara Gilmer.


    Charlie Tatham said his son had been through Dubai six times in the past year and was well aware of the country's "zero tolerance" policy on drugs.


    The poppy bulbs his son was carrying could not be used for opium production, as they had been harvested several years ago, he said.


    "He was bringing those home for show-and-tell, basically," Tatham added.
    As for the hashish, Tatham says his son is "mystified" as to how such a tiny amount became lodged in the seam of his pants.


    "It is ubiquitous in Kandahar area and he was involved occasionally in the burning of drugs, and it was passed around socially as far as we know," he said.


    "Bert's been scrupulously honest with us. He's not a user."


    Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said Canadian consular officials in

    Dubai have been in contact with Bert Tatham and his family and are providing assistance.


    ``You know the United Arab Emirates is a country that we have very good lines of communication and working relationship with on a number of files, diplomatic and otherwise," said MacKay, refusing to get into the details of the case.


    However, Tatham's father said he hasn't heard from consular officials for the last several weeks and that the family has been relying instead on a family friend in Dubai for information about their son's case and how he is faring.


    Joe Comartin, NDP public safety and justice critic, said Ottawa should move quickly so that the government of Dubai understands that Canada "is absolutely serious about getting their citizens out."


    "And that means at the international level that our foreign minister should be talking to their government right away" Comartin said.


    Tatham said he spoke last Sunday with his son, who was "filled with angst and remorse" about his arrest. While his son is able to tolerate his conditions in jail, he was far more distressed about Dubai press reports alleging he was involved in burning crops in Afghanistan, Tatham said.


    "It never occurred and he was never involved," Tatham said.
    Some soldiers, including Canadians, have distanced themselves from the destruction of the opium poppy crops – which, in some cases, are a vital source of income for Afghan farmers – because they feel it erodes public support for reconstruction.


    Local farmers who depend on the poppy crop for their livelihood are a critical source of invaluable intelligence, such as the movements of local Taliban insurgents and where improvised explosive devices – or IEDs – are planted.


    However, Canada supports the poppy-eradication program as one of the pillars of the Afghan national drug-control strategy.


    "Because it's a very hot-button issue over there – how the crops are dealt with – he felt that he had all his trusted colleagues scurrying for cover if they were accepting what was in the press as fact," Charlie Tatham said.
    "He expressed the wish to us that he wished he had just pleaded guilty from Day 1 and gone to jail and there had been zero publicity because it was really upsetting to him."


    In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, Bert Tatham's lawyer, Saeed al-Gailani, said he was hopeful that the judge "will understand that drugs are a part of Tatham's job."


    Al-Gailani argued in court last week that Tatham inadvertently carried the near-microscopic amount of drugs because his job involved burning and disposing of tons of seized Afghan opium crops.


    But Dubai courts have handed down harsh penalties to travellers caught with even smaller amounts of drugs. An Italian citizen was sentenced to four years in Dubai prison for possession of 1/100th of a gram of hashish last month. Last week, a British citizen was handed the same sentence for carrying 0.7 grams of marijuana.


    Earlier this month, al-Gailani argued that part of Tatham's job was to collect "tons of drugs every day" in Afghanistan and that his client had attended the burning of five to 10 tons of poppies daily.


    "His trousers must have mistakenly picked up the tiny quantity of hashish," al-Gailani said.


    Traces of hashish found in Tatham's urine were inhaled by Tatham as "secondhand smoke," the lawyer said. Hashish is produced from marijuana plants rather than opium poppies.

    http://www.thestar.com/article/227025

    Followup:

    UN official, who advised Afghan government on poppy crops, gets 4 years for smuggling

    Jun 20, 2007 04:30 AM
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates–A Canadian UN official who advised the Afghan government on eradicating opium poppy crops was sentenced to four years in prison yesterday for smuggling and drug possession.


    Bert Tatham, 35, of Vancouver was arrested April 23 during a layover at Dubai International Airport, after being caught with 0.6 grams of hashish, and two poppy bulbs. He pleaded not guilty during an arraignment last week.


    The judge said Tatham must serve his full sentence and then be deported from this Persian Gulf country, known for its "zero tolerance" policy on narcotics.


    Tatham was arrested en route to Canada from the Afghan city of Kandahar, where he worked as a consultant for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and as an adviser to the Afghan government's poppy elimination program.
    Sharif Emara, a member of the Dubai-based legal team defending Tatham, expressed disappointment at yesterday's verdict.


    "We had good defence and he got the full punishment," Emara said, adding that Tatham's lawyer Saeed al-Gailani will appeal the sentence within 15 days.


    Al-Gailani had argued that part of Tatham's job was to collect "tonnes of drugs every day" and that his client had attended the burning of five to 10 tonnes of poppies daily.


    "His trousers must have mistakenly picked up the tiny quantity of hashish," al-Gailani said.


    Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said Canadian consular officials in Dubai have been in contact with Tatham and his family and are providing assistance.


    "You know the United Arab Emirates is a country that we have very good lines of communication and working relationship with on a number of files, diplomatic and otherwise," said MacKay, refusing to get into the details of the case.


    Tatham's father, Charlie Tatham said from his home in Duntroon, Ont., yesterday that the family is hoping he will be released from jail this fall during the holy month of Ramadan when clemency is often granted to prisoners in the United Arab Emirates.


    "Our attention would be focused on trying to get Bert's name on that list," he said.


    The prison sentence is a "cruel reward" for the dangerous work his son did in Kandahar, his father said.


    He reportedly stopped in Dubai to buy a gold watch and possibly an engagement ring for his girlfriend in Victoria, Sara Gilmer.



    http://www.thestar.com/article/227177
  18. Alfa
    Also mind that jails in Dubai are very different from western jails: prisoners are chained, filth, rats; you don't want to risk going there.
  19. Bajeda
    Yes, you don't want to go to prisons over there. In Saudi some foreigners arrested for assault and the like were given the choice of either having limbs amputated (hands) or spending a few years in Saudi jail. You can guess which option they chose, as one of the two was a near-certain death penalty!
  20. lulz
    That's pretty ironic for a country whose Mutawwa, or "morality police" as they are called", have been known to physically beat unveiled women in public, among other things.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!