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Appeal gets Kenyan heavier sentence in Dubai over drugs charges

A Kenyan citizen has been jailed for seven years in Dubai over drugs related charges after he appealed against the initial one-year sentence.

The 28-year-old Kenyan was arrested in possession of 2,450 tablets of the anti-epileptic drug pregabalin after arriving in Dubai International Airport in December last year.

According to airport security records, he brought in 166 sachets that contained the anti-epileptic drug and customs staff grew suspicious after noticing that contents in his suitcase contained suspicious lumps.

When his luggage was searched, customs officials found large quantities of the tablets, believed to be drugs.

BODY SEARCH

“We also conducted a body search and found more drugs wrapped around his body and some hidden in his clothes,” said an Emirati Dubai customs inspector.

Local media reported that the Kenyan was referred to the airport’s police station where he allegedly admitted carrying the drugs from his Kenya to deliver to a man in Dubai. The drug control department, however, found no traces of drugs in his system.

At Dubai Criminal Court, the man denied a drug smuggling charge, and said he did not know what he was carrying was banned in the United Arabs Emirates.

He was convicted and sentenced to a year in jail to be followed by deportation and a fine of Sh560,000. The man however appealed the sentence which was subsequently increased to seven years and a fine of Sh1.4 million. He will be deported after serving his prison term.