A Nigerian man was arrested at Dubai International Airport after inspectors found a check-in luggage filled with crystal meth-soaked clothes in his possession. The amount totaled to 18.2 kg of drugs.
The 39-year-old arrived in Dubai on April 6, and his agitated looks gave him away, it was revealed.
"He raised our suspicions as he looked agitated when his handbag was scanned. He denied he was carrying any contraband substance," a customs inspector said, according to Khaleej Times.
Upon examining his check-in bag, its tag was found to be missing, which seemed odd.
"I found very rigid clothes in it. There were traces of white powder on it. I had a doubt that the clothes were soaked with drugs. The accused denied having anything to do with the clothes. He claimed a person in Nigeria gave him the clothes to deliver them in Dubai," the inspector told the prosecutor.
The Nigerian man was referred to the Dubai Court of First Instance, and was accused on Thursday of drug smuggling.
He was sentenced to seven years in prison in addition to a 50,000 dirham ($13,612) fine. The man, who denied the charges in court, will also be deported after serving his sentence.
The man is allowed to appeal the verdict within two weeks of its issuance date.
All 32 pieces of clothes that were in the bag contained drugs, the Crime Lab report mentioned.
"Dissolving drugs in liquids is a common method adopted by smugglers to avoid detection," The National pointed out.
The UAE takes drug-related issues seriously
Last year, a Pakistani man was arrested at Dubai International Airport for carrying hashish in his suitcase. The expat, who worked in the Emirates, blamed his mother for not knowing the rules of the country.
As of 2019, two attempts to smuggle drugs - 4.4 kg of heroin and 8.6 kg of cocaine - into the UAE were busted by Dubai Customs in the first quarter.
"The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy for recreational use of drugs. Federal Law No. 14 of 1995 criminalizes production, import, export, transport, buying, selling, possessing, storing of narcotic and psychotropic substances unless done so as part of supervised and regulated medical or scientific activities in accordance with the applicable laws. The UAE police has dedicated departments to deal with drugs' issues."