Skip to comments.Brit jailed four years in Dubai for cannabis weighing less than a grain of sugar (profiling?)
Posted on 02/08/2008 6:29:59 PM PST by llevrok
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.
Off with his head!
As I have heard, 1/10,000 of an ounce is sufficient for conviction in the US.
Pot should be legal. Flame me.
“A father-of-three who was found with a microscopic speck of cannabis stuck to the bottom of one of his shoes...”
Simple solution-don’t step on your stash (or stay the hell out of the middle east.)
Energy independence now. These folks have gotten enough of our money.
A former coworker of mine got sent to prison in Dubai for two joints. He got about five years, if I recollect right. The idiot carried it with him off the plane and into the airport.
The American Drug Warriors are envious of Dubai.
No interest whatsoever in either pot or "flaming you".
Au contraire. “Hashish was derived from a word meaning “assasin “
It is crazy crap like this that keeps me home on the ranch. I’d like to see more of the US long before I’d want to go anywhere else.
No thank you. I'm not into that sort of thing, not that there's anything wrong with it...
At least a ticket - it’s a government revenue generator.
Everyone needs a good flame once in a while - do you need it to light your joint?
FreeRepublic is one of the few places one could state a politically incorrect viewpoint and not be crucified. Taken to task perhaps but not crucified. I like that.
If it's that sh*t they're growing indoors in British Colombia, that's enough to get the whole dorm wasted.
And may I note an ‘au contraire’ to you as well, sir.
I am certain that the word ‘assassin’ was derived from the word ‘hashish’ as in ‘hashishin” or user of hashish.
The substance was given to young warriors to give them a taste of the afterlife to encourage them in later battles.
You should mellow out dude.
Seems that they are trying to catch up with the civilized world. Several years ago a man here was sentenced to life for having a razor blade in his pocket with a trace of drugs too small to measure. Just keep saying “we are winning the war on drugs” and don’t forget to send tax money for the fight.
Outside of sending everybodies shoes who walks through an airport to a forensics lab, how do you even find that minuscule of an amount?
Just messin’ with ya.
I agree, my folks live in Alb, NM. How is it there?
This thread just gave me the urge to twist one up.
“A search by customs officials uncovered a speck of cannabis weighing just 0.003g...”
I’m guessing a 100.00 role of dollar bills has more coke on it.
My exact thought when I read the amounts. If these guys weren't sitting in jail, this would be funny. I can tell you one part of the world I will never, EVER visit....C
Nah....todays pot should not be legal.
Briton? He will be released.
About a year or two ago, an Indian designer was caught with a pouch full of marijuana, and other narcotics, in Dubai. He was released; the UAE doesn’t mess with investor countries. The same happened with an American, earlier.
My wife doesn’t even want to fly over Muslim countries, because if the plane suffers mechanical troubles and has to land, she simply doesn’t want to be there.
Or one $100 bill.
Not sure that’s enough when you’re trying to plea down from a worse crime, but go to it. You never know eh?!
Even if you have a valid prescription for it?
No, beheading is reserved for talking to a woman at Starbucks.
Is it true Farsi and German have many common root words?
The FR drug warriors applaud this.
Is the plan for him to actually serve four years, or to attract some sort of payoff to ensure an early release?
Dubai is an interesting place. There are many, many foreigners there. This includes lots of women that go clubbing every night, European women, usually in small groups. They are what I call “kept women”. They are there at the behest of their Arab sugar-daddies, that pay for them to be around when it’s desirable to have a beautiful young woman on their arm. They don’t want to marry them, or live with them, they just want them around. Obviously these men have a lot of money.
That hotel in the picture is supposedly the world’s only six-star hotel. It’s head-and-shoulders above everything else, anywhere. I hear they have a great brunch, and though it costs way over a hundred bucks to visit the hotel for brunch it’s worth it.
The roads are all dusty with a very fine dust from the desert. There are lots of fancy cars and fabulous apartments. The labor force is almost all foreigners. The local men dress in white robes with black headbands; a “Dishdashah”.
Dubai is a big playground for Europeans — lots of vacationers there from the EU. Lots of clubs, all with alcohol of all kinds. Many clubs are frequented by foreign prostitutes, and alcohol is available in all of them.
Despite all this it doesn’t surprise me that they have such a low tolerance for drugs. The locals are hypocrites of the highest order. They also have a very different view of women, and women tourists should always travel in groups to avoid being assaulted and raped by local men who think their western dress means they are fair game for anything, including kidnapping and rape.
The article does suprise me in the sense that the evidence is so flimsy — makes me think these people were selected for extra screening for some reason — maybe they suspected they were Jewish (no that’s not a joke). The customs there is not any different than most places, at least to the extent I have seen.
Farsi shares about 40% of its vocabulary with Arabic....not too much in common in with German.
I know a graduate TA at my university who’s been to Dubai and all over the Middle East. She says the people in the UAE, Dubai especially, loved Americans.
I don’t doubt that — we protect them from their neighbors who might have designs on their oil. Besides those that work there, not too many Americans are vacationing in Dubai. It’s in Europe’s back yard though, relatively speaking.
They also train the flight attendants for Emerates Airways in Dubai — all different nationalities of mostly young women. I was eating in a hotel restaurant when a graduating class had their big dinner in the same restaurant — I could hardly chew from having my jaw on the floor most of the time.
If you are looking for Emirates Airways flight attendants I highly recommend the Irish Village Pub. It’s on the back side of the tennis stadium and right across from Emirates’ training facility.
Um... weighs less than a gram of sugar? As opposed to weighing less than a gram of something else?
Oh, er, GRAIN, not gram. Forgive me, my monitor sucks.
You and Oh Black Obama think alike.
I am against pot, but I try not to disparage anybody. NO ad-hominem attacks. Let’s get into logic, common sense, and some basic debating principles.
You have used a normative expression [”should” “should be” etc, those types of statements that deal with “what ought to be” etc.]. I clearly understand those types of statements. OK, we have a civil disagreement as to what is right, and as to what is wrong. Fair enough, without getting into scientific details.
Under the First Amendment, you are entitled to your opinion, and yet, I humbly disagree with your stated opinion.
I am not picking a fight, I am just letting you know where I stand on this specific issue. We may hopefully, politely, “agree to disagree” on this. Civil society requires polite, civil disagreement on key issues. Now that is where voting comes into play.
The LAW is different, however. IF you are arrested, remember that the LAW is key, not just someone’s opinion. You may need to contact an attorney if you get caught with what you call “pot”. I would “highly” [ha-hah!] recommend that you (assuming that you do this, just an assumption, correct me if I am wrong) retain an attorney to plead your case, if you are arrested.