Briton jailed in Dubai after police find speck of cannabis on shoe

By zera · Feb 8, 2008 · ·
  1. zera
    Briton jailed for four years in Dubai after customs find cannabis weighing less than a grain of sugar under his shoe
    By BETH HALE - More by this author »
    Last updated at 10:23am on 8th February 2008
    Comments (40)

    Jailed: Keith Brown had a speck of cannabis on his shoe
    A father-of-three who was found with a microscopic speck of cannabis stuck to the bottom of one of his shoes has been sentenced to four years in a Dubai prison.
    Keith Brown, a council youth development officer, was travelling through the United Arab Emirates on his way back to England when he was stopped as he walked through Dubai's main airport.

    A search by customs officials uncovered a speck of cannabis weighing just 0.003g - so small it would be invisible to the naked eye and weighing less than a grain of sugar - on the tread of one of his shoes.

    Dubai International Airport is a major hub for the Middle East and thousands of Britons pass through it every year to holiday in the glamorous beach and shopping haven.

    But many of those tourists and business travellers are likely to be unaware of the strict zero-tolerance drugs policy in the UAE.

    One man has even been jailed for possession of three poppy seeds left over from a bread roll he ate at Heathrow Airport. Painkiller codeine is also banned.

    If suspicious of a traveller, customs officials can use high-tech equipment to uncover even the slightest trace of drugs.

    Mr Brown was detained and arrested in September last year and has been held in a cell with three other men in the city prison ever since.

    This week the youth worker, who has two young children and a partner at home in Smethwick, West Midlands, was sentenced to four years in prison.

    A 25-year-old Briton who was found with a similar speck in one pocket as he arrived on holiday has been awaiting sentence since November.

    Meanwhile a Big Brother TV executive has so far been held without charge for five days after being arrested for possessing the health supplement melatonin.

    The authorities claim to have discovered 0.01g of hashish in his luggage.

    Last night Mr Brown's brother Lee said his case "defied belief".

    "For that sort of amount common sense should prevail, from where it was found it was obviously something that had been crushed on the floor - it could have come from anywhere."

    Rastafarian Mr Brown had been returning from a short trip to Ethiopia, where one of his children lives and where he owns property.

    He was travelling with his partner Imani, who was also stopped and detained for more than a week.

    Normally he flew direct to and from the UK, but decided to stop off in Dubai.

    "He was incensed when he called me," said driving instructor Lee, 57. "It would be funny if the circumstances weren't so unpleasant.

    "Bugs are crawling out of his mattress when he's sleeping. His family are frantic with worry and can't call him."

    Last night campaign group Fair Trials International advised visitors to Dubai and Abu Dhabi to "take extreme caution".

    Chief Executive Catherine Wolthuizen said: "We have seen a steep increase in such cases over the last 18 months.

    "Customs authorities are using highly sensitive new equipment to conduct extremely thorough searches on travellers and if they find any amount - no matter how minute - it will be enough to attract a mandatory four-year prison sentence."

    Mrs Wolthuizen added: "We even have reports of the imprisonment of a Swiss man for 'possession' of three poppy seeds on his clothing after he ate a bread roll at Heathrow.

    Held: A campaign is underway to secure the release of Cat Le-Huy from a Dubai jail
    "What many travellers may not realise is that they can be deemed to be in possession of such banned substances if they can be detected in their urine or bloodstream, or even in tiny, trace amounts on their person."

    Only two months after Mr Brown was stopped economics graduate Robert Dalton was detained in almost identical circumstances.

    Mr Dalton, from Gravesend, on Kent was with two friends when he was stopped and asked to empty his pockets.

    Officials found 0.03g of cannabis in a small amount of fluff. He is currently on trial and if convicted, is likely receive a four-year prison sentence.

    Last night his brother Peter, 26, told how it took 24 hours to find out why he had been stopped.

    "As we understand, the amount of cannabis was barely visible to the human eye and was at the bottom of the pocket of an old pair of jeans.

    "He's not a drug user, but he goes clubbing and the speck was so small."

    Last week Cat Le-Huy, a London-based German national, was arrested on arrival at the airport.

    Mr Le-Huy, 31, head of technology with Big Brother production company Endemol, was arrested on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs after customs officers found melatonin, a health supplement used for jet lag available over the counter both in Dubai and in the US.

    Authorities also claim they discovered fragments in one of his bags which they believe to be hashish. Fair Trials International said the amount was 0.01g.

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  1. aerozeppelin123
    Re: Travelling to Dubai? Might want to clean your shoes.


    OK I think that just about sums up how reading that made me feel.
  2. umbra1010
    Re: Travelling to Dubai? Might want to clean your shoes.

    That is beyond belief. how can anyone be jailed for four years for a speck of weed.
  3. fnord
    Re: Travelling to Dubai? Might want to clean your shoes.

    I second that!!! fucking poppy seeds?

    Is there anything that a group like the UN could do?
  4. Hyperspaceblastoff
    Re: Travelling to Dubai? Might want to clean your shoes.

    this is exactly y im so afraid to travel
    and ive seen dubai has like the best hotels
    id rather stay here
  5. podge
    Re: Travelling to Dubai? Might want to clean your shoes.

    Swims brother and sister both work near dubai - guess swim wont be visiting.
  6. Mr. Giraffe
    Re: Travelling to Dubai? Might want to clean your shoes.

    The absolute saddest thing has to be that the sick fucks who read the Daily Mail pretty much think this is a great blow for justice. Check out this comment:

    Good on these authorities for actually enforcing the law of the land, I have no pity for the suspects and criminals whom they have caught, some ignorant, some stupid and some simply brazen. It seems that suspect "profiling" is alive, well and working effectively in some parts of the world.

    It's a shame that our own establishment is so weak by comparison.

    - Perfectly Fair, Edinburgh, Scotland
  7. radiometer
    Re: Travelling to Dubai? Might want to clean your shoes.

    They are apparently not so freakish regarding prescription medicines. Eddie's wife used to have to travel frequently to Dubai (as well as Singapore), and she never had any difficulties with small amounts of benzodiazepines in her carryon.
  8. Sitbcknchill
  9. Thirdedge
    Someone needs to do an anti-tourism campaign on Dubai to warn those considering traveling there about this sort of thing. If you smoke weed, or have friends or family who smoke weed, don,t go there full stop.

    If they lost enough tourism dollars due to this they may have to consider changing their laws.
  10. Purest
    That is just so ridiculous, they really shouldn't be allowed to charge tourists in this manner, an amount that isn't visible by the naked eye, what use is that, and it was on his shoe, not in it, on it, so chances are he just stepped on a tiny fragment at some point. I remember the other topics about this, but seriously, someone needs to step in and stop customs doing stupid things like that.
  11. yaba
    Wont be going there !! Remember something from some time back. A woman was held in Dubai because she had a problem with her passport and they found codeine in her blood. She got time not sure how much.
  12. aerozeppelin123
    I really think our government needs to do something about this. How would one go about appealing to the government to work to get him a pardon? Like what department and stuff
  13. podge
    Thats a good idea. As bad as it sounds 'War on tourism" might save good people many unnecessary years in jail.
  14. afarmer
    That really does take the biscuit.

    From this it basically means that nobody is safe, if they can give people 4 year prison sentences for having it on their shoe.

    I can understand what happened to Grooverider, having a whole joint on him was pretty stupid, but with the other people they're really taking it too far.

    I'm going to boycott Dubai, on my own.
  15. lulz
    Here's more info on that person in the article who was arrested in Dubai for possession of melatonin :confused:
  16. ♣ Tekken ♥
    jeez, that was close! God only knows what he was going to do with that invisible speck of cannabis if customs hadn't stopped him!
  17. Felonious Skunk
    Other than tourism (and really, what does Dubai have that you can't get elsewhere), what's the best way to hit Dubai in the bank account?

    Just wondering...
  18. Bajeda
    They have a very big bank account. GDP of $168 billion last I checked, making it the 38th largest economy in the world. Plus you can add investments in numerous other countries including the US. Abu Dhabi alone has over $600 billion in overseas investments. The UAE manufactures a great deal of manufactured goods, and Dubai's construction industry is booming in particular (both there and in locations abroad serviced by those companies). Tourism is still thriving, and Emirates Air is one of the most profitable airlines around. Loads of corporations have locations in Dubai, especially financial but also many trade and manufacturing oriented firms thanks to the free-trade zone. I don't think they could be easily pressured to move out. Real estate is still growing at a ridiculous pace, with the world's current tallest building still being constructed, and Dubai is trying to attract biotech firms and other industries now. They do business within and outside of the Middle East, and are good friends with the US. UAE ports house more US Navy ships than any other port outside the US. The UAE emirates are also heavily invested in the US economy.
  19. lulz
    Surprisingly it seems that Dubai responded to the negative international attention surrounding this case:
  20. aerozeppelin123
    That's really great to hear, that annoyed me so much when I heard about that. At least there's SOME common sense amongst the Dubai authorities.
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