Image used for illustrative purposes only. Source: India Today

One can only imagine what happens to those who break both the strict cybercrime laws and tough anti-drug legislation implemented in Dubai all at once. 

Three Arab men discovered this the hard way after they posted a video of themselves pretending to smoke hashish joints in the city on social media. 

On Sunday, Dubai police revealed the defendants were detained within a few hours of posting the clip in which they could be seen boasting about "sharing a joint."

"We spotted the video on social media platforms and arrested the three men. They have been referred to competent authorities for legal action," the deputy director of the emirate's anti-narcotics department, Colonel Khalid bin Moyazeh, said

The official warned that social media platforms "are not meant to be used for bragging or encouraging lewd behavior."

The men are set to be tried under Article 29 of the country's 2012 Law Against the Crimes of Information Technology, which states

"Shall be punished by temporary imprisonment and a fine not exceeding one million dirhams whoever publishes information, news, data or rumors on a website, a computer network or information technology means to ridicule or harm the reputation, prestige or status of the State or any of its institutions, its president or his deputy, the rulers of the emirates, their crown princes, deputy rulers of the emirates, the flag, the national salute, the national emblem, the national anthem or symbols."

Bin Moyazeh revealed that Dubai Police are constantly on the watch for any social media posts or pages that promote drugs. He stressed that Dubai has zero tolerance towards anyone who attempts to manipulate the anti-drug laws and those who aim to spread destructive ideas via videos posted online. 

The emirate can also prosecute any member of the public who shares or reposts footage featuring drug usage or consumption.

Dubai has been amping up its fight against drugs

Image used for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: GRAS GRÜN Source: Unsplash

The city's authorities majorly cracked down on drug and narcotic use throughout 2019. According to newly released statistics by Dubai Police last week, authorities were able to arrest 166 suspects charged in over 71 drug-related cases and block 15 websites involved in the trafficking and sale of drugs last year.

A statement released by the police force also declared that its General Department of Anti-Narcotics recorded 15 cases of drugs sold on social media channels within a 12-month time frame.

Under the UAE's new National Cybersecurity Strategy, drugs are strictly forbidden and offenses in drug sale or distribution cases carry heavy punishments

The country does not tolerate the recreational use of drugs. Its "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."

The country also monitors and takes action against anyone who uses the internet and social media to promote drugs in any way.