Five Britons have been detained in the United Arab Emirates for the past two weeks on drugs charges, a British consulate spokesman said Monday. The Gulf News said the suspects, three of them women, were allegedly part of an eight-member gang including an Australian woman and two Arabs who had set up "an Internet web site which provided veiled information on drugs dens."
Most of the suspects, including an airhostess, were rounded up in Dubai, police told the newspaper. The gang operated between the two emirates, according to police.
"The five Britons have been detained by Ras al-Khaimah police for drugs-related offences. Consular staff visited them on November 12 to make sure they have access to legal representation," the spokesman told AFP.The spokesman added that the consulate was informed of their detention by Emirati authorities on November 7, but like the Foreign Office in London he declined to give further details.
In June another Briton, who worked for an information technology company in Dubai, was accused of sabotaging the Internet network in the UAE and put under arrest.
Several foreigners have been sentenced to death over the past two years under a 1995 law that lays down capital punishment for drug trafficking. But no executions — normally by firing squad in the UAE — have been announced. — (AFP, Dubai)
© Agence France Presse 2000