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02 July, 2006

Cough syrup druglords

"Several pills and some syrup - welcome to seven months at a Goverment hotel!"

It must be part of the UAE's new tourism strategy, because nothing else can explain the absurdness of jailing two heart patients for seven months without trial for bringing in prescription medicine.

Police said the couple arrived at Dubai International Airport last December. Customs inspectors found several pills which contained banned substances in their possession as well as a syrup which contained a banned substance.

According to their lawyer, the syrup was "a pain-killer which is legally sold in pharmacies". But even if not: "several pills" "a syrup"? Just what kind of junkie druglord makes a career out of such quantities? Several thousand pills for a seven-day holiday, fair enough. But the Cretin of the Century could recognise the difference between Mr and Mrs Sickly from Tehran and the average Colombian drug baron.

The problem is that the UAE has a bizarre and irrational fear of certain substances, such as codeine. Despite the fact that dhows sail merrily all over the Gulf with illicit cargoes of finest Afghan poppy dust, you can't buy a couple of panadeine from a pharmacy for love nor money. Boots Heathrow used to be the ideal place to stock up until last year's "Codeine Tracy" fiasco.

Will they ever get a clue? Probably not. If you suffer from headaches or backpain: don't book a holiday in the UAE. Take a package tour to somewhere like Spain. Cheaper, more culture, better scenery, and you won't end up in jail for downing a Panadeine Extra.

Labels: ,

30 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Colombian drug lord", Secretdubai: What a hypocrite you are. You cannot stop criticizing when somebody, mostly GN, make racial profiling comments but there you go, and it is not the first time you do it. Practice what you preach!!!
An angry Colombian…

02 July, 2006 03:52  
Blogger Minkey Chief said...

I can't quite figure where the anon@0352 comment falls: jokey, trolly, cluelessy or a bit of all three. The last line suggests jokey, but just in case...

There's a difference between AN English snob, AN Emirati lech, AN Indian boor and "All English people are snobs", "if he's Emirati, he's a lech", "Indian? Must be a boor".

It's an interesting point though. You could respond to that with: "Then why not an Icelandic druglord?"

Are you propogating a racial profile by using (in a way, 'supporting') phrases such as "a Latin lover" "an Italian gangster" and a "Colombian druglord"?

And more importantly, is worrying about this being too effing oversensitive and PC? I'd go with the over-PC, but I'd be interested to see what other SD readers have to say.

02 July, 2006 05:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Viva Dubai!

Wow "Marahaba" service for tourists? It is true, when they say “there is no other like Dubai”. Way to go Dubai customs…

02 July, 2006 07:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A major overhaul is what is required, it starts with educating people that work at these entry points. Moreover, presence of a Health Care Official at these points would be another way to solve this matter. These two forces, if joined together should do the trick.

02 July, 2006 08:49  
Anonymous abu google said...

Drug users should be locked up in jail like the scum that they are, and raped on a daily basis by other inmates. If it were up to me I would have them killed. They have no right to swallow any pill they want to swallow, they must be stopped, because it is against the law. Just imagine if they tried selling the drugs to other people: those people would buy them, and eat the drugs, and they themselves would be breaking the law.

Listen you typical idiots, the law is meant to protect you from these things. And if you break the law then you should be thrown in jail to protect the drug buyers from the drug sellers.

If drugs were legal, everybody would use them and would be HIGH all the time and nobody would go to work, they'd all be too busy selling their things to buy more drugs and get high and have illegal sex with each other's children.

Just like if everybody stopped believing in God we would no longer have morals, so what would stop us from just killing and raping each other?

It's all very simple, the law is not made to be broken and if you break the law, you are breaking the law.

02 July, 2006 10:56  
Blogger Woke said...

I personally know a person whose brother has been sentenced to life imprisonment for giving away a drug from his medical store without prescription.

@abu google
There is something called self-restraint and knowing what is wrong and what is right. Are you trying to say you dont go around killing and raping people ONLY because God is watching you?

02 July, 2006 11:17  
Blogger Jin said...

Is ALL Codiene banned or is it just proportional? I brought in painkillers containing the dreaded C 'drug' & never got a glance from customs.
And for crying in a bloody bucket, what's with the 'race' argument? Some people take things way too far nowadays!

02 July, 2006 11:17  
Blogger Earthbound Misfit said...

Abu Google,

I think you missed the point about this post. Yes hard drugs are bad. But the drugs we are talking about here are prescription drugs (for medicinal purposes). Codeine is legal in most countries, so it is unfair when someone carrying it for their medicinal use is arrested in Dubai for no fault of theirs.

And moving onto the rest of your idiotic comment:

"If drugs were legal, everybody would use them and would be HIGH all the time and nobody would go to work, they'd all be too busy selling their things to buy more drugs and get high and have illegal sex with each other's children."

Now if you ever go to Amsterdam, you would realise that people do go to work, are productive and don't go around having "illegal" sex. And what the hell is illegal sex anyway? Is it similar to the cyclone variety? Don't see many drug users in cyclone.....


"Just like if everybody stopped believing in God we would no longer have morals, so what would stop us from just killing and raping each other?" - Sounds like the scare tactics of the relgious right here. I have seen more crime being committed by the religious people in the name of god than by atheists. Rapes, murders human rights violations occur at a higher rate in these wonderful "paradise like" theocracies. And lets not even start about the number of wars and killings in the name of religion and god.

02 July, 2006 12:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo, Abu google!! That was the best troll I've ever seen!

"And if you break the law then you should be thrown in jail to protect the drug buyers from the drug sellers." Are you really that naiive? Isn't he a uckfing genius? *applause*

"If drugs were legal, everybody would use them and would be HIGH all the time and nobody would go to work, they'd all be too busy selling their things to buy more drugs and get high and have illegal sex with each other's children." You must live in Dibba.

"It's all very simple, the law is not made to be broken and if you break the law, you are breaking the law." My head asplodeded!

02 July, 2006 12:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Abu Google,

Some religious leaders have had sex with children... does this mean that they did drugs? or that sex with children is legal if you are a religious leader?

- DD

02 July, 2006 13:10  
Anonymous abu google said...

Get a brain, morans. It was satire.
GO USA!

02 July, 2006 13:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Satire???

Nothing satirical about what you wrote Abu Google. Learn the definition of Satire first.

I still stand by my comment though.

- DD

02 July, 2006 14:08  
Blogger A Yahya said...

Anyway...back to the subject. Its interesting Dallas Austin (a man i used to respect) looks like he can get off with travelling with class a drugs in the light of this new story.

02 July, 2006 15:18  
Blogger Bloglingo said...

This is not the first case. Being jailed for bringing in medication that is illegal here has happened so many times before. The justice system (if we can at all call it like that) over here reeks.

Though I gotta agree "the average Colombian drug baron" was very judgmental and wrong to say.

02 July, 2006 16:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a pratt -

''Just like if everybody stopped believing in God we would no longer have morals, so what would stop us from just killing and raping each other?''

I don't believe in God and somehow I've managed to stop myself from killing and raping - admittedly it's been hard, but I've just about coped - pillock!

02 July, 2006 17:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It think that anyone that is too scared to publish under a name is chicken. It is easy to have a go at people when there can be no comebacks.

These people are usully colombian drug-lords or satirical dope users.

Best Regards

Anonymous

02 July, 2006 17:40  
Anonymous abu google said...

All,
I guess sarcasm doesn't translate well over teh interweb.

Nevertheless, I find your ideas intriguing, and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

02 July, 2006 18:42  
Blogger rummyjohn said...

Newsletters? There are newsletters? Why have I not heard of this before?

02 July, 2006 20:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the UAE authorieis dont consider it as a medication then it is NOT. I dont care about what others think about it.

02 July, 2006 20:57  
Blogger secretdubai said...

If the UAE authorieis dont consider it as a medication then it is NOT. I dont care about what others think about it.

And who are you, with your lack of grammar and spelling and extraordinarily sheep-like opinions? The UAE authorities have made many changes to medical policy in recent years. They are quite aware they're not perfect - despite your misplaced faith in them. But I doubt anyone cares for your opinion any more than you care about theirs.

(Hint: if you want to put a point across, try not to present yourself as an absolute fucking idiot while doing so).

rummyjohn - there's no newsletter as such, but you can sign up to get updates via Feedblitz. Hopefully it will still work even if this place is ever blocked again.

02 July, 2006 21:06  
Blogger Al Sinjab said...

Abu Google's right. Sarcasm never works on the internet. I'm sure Samurai Sam totally agrees.

02 July, 2006 22:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous that at entry point somebody from health authorities
with medical background shoud be there ,and the main thing is to educate the staff

02 July, 2006 23:41  
Blogger samuraisam said...

al sinjab:
I don't quite understand the particular tone you're trying to express with what you wrote; but supposedly it's one of the following;
a.) you believe my blog to be a failure in displaying satire and sarcasm, or perhaps a failure in its entirety.
b.) you believe my blog is successful at satire
c.) you believe I fail to adhere to the ‘satire’ title awarded to me by other people and a media mention or two (which is partly true, I haven’t written anything jocular in a while)
d.) you believe I'm going to adapt my opinions/beliefs to someone else’s just because of their name

I wouldn't specifically deny any of them are absolutely true/false, your opinion; my blog has it's own specific audience, I get praise from quite a few people, so I can only imagine the satire is successful towards at least a few; as for other audience's, specifically one's outside of the UAE or perhaps the Middle East, it may not make any sense whatsoever, then there is the fact the UAE itself is made up of hundreds and hundreds of different cultures, you can’t cater to them all (perhaps you can, but you’d have to be very talented and boring if you actually managed to get through several hundred different cliché’s without offending a single person); there are undoubtedly those that absolutely hate my blog, me, and everything I stand for, just in the same way there are many people I hate or quite simply don’t understand; that’s life.
I hope for your own sake you weren’t actually trying to launch a scathing attack against me from someone else’s blog, because you’d sound like a moron.
Satire is difficult to express on the internet; and at the end of the day, all you really have is text and graphics/photos, perhaps video too, it’s quite different to expressing your opinion, humor, hate, love, desire in real life, so if you can at least recognize someone as trying to display satire/hyperbole/whatever, they’ve done a pretty good job.

03 July, 2006 00:39  
Blogger Al Sinjab said...

b)

03 July, 2006 10:27  
Blogger redstar said...

I'd be quite happy to comply with the law - if I knew what it was.

Nowhere on arriving are you told anything about who can actually buy the alcohol in the Duty Free shop, which medication you are allowed to use and so on.

03 July, 2006 13:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that Dallas Austin or whatever his name is gets off on a pardon, I have lost my belief in the whole UAE justice system. Just imagine it was an ordinary person, he/she would be locked away and deported..Why do so called celebrities always think they are better than anyone else?

03 July, 2006 15:21  
Blogger DesertNorm said...

Dallas Austin's brilliant defence was ignorance of local law.

His defence lawyer is not really trying too hard is he ?

1. I'm sure the codeine kingpins tried the one and it didn't work for them so I sure hope it doesn't work for him.
2. Where is cocaine legal ?
To me, that is just the icing on the cake of a piss-taking untouchable ...
(rants in similar vein for several minutes)

And his music is crap too. Send him down !

No, better still hold for six months without charging him. Like to see the UAE authoritites try that with one of Naomi Campbell's friends.

03 July, 2006 16:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I'd like to know is;

how the hell do you know which (medical) drugs are legal here and which aren't?

I've never seen a list of prohibited subtances anywhere despite searching.

Are we just supposed to guess? Could choosing Brand A over Brand B of cough syrup in Heathrow land you in gaol as soon as you touch down in Dubai?

03 July, 2006 20:03  
Blogger secretdubai said...

how the hell do you know which (medical) drugs are legal here and which aren't?

You don't know - and that's the problem. The British Embassy here is on record saying it refers all enquiries to the UAE authorities, because it cannot get its hands on a proper list to warn British tourists and expats.

What seems clear is that either no doctors are being consulted when customs officers make a "find" - or that no internationally-qualified and experienced doctors are being consulted. Because the ignorance is astounding.

They can say what they like about the UAE being a "progressive" country, but cases like this show it's a long, long way from joining the first world just yet.

03 July, 2006 21:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My nan bought me a hold em up poker game for about a pound from the uk. it was a toy, and for ages 5+. when i got to dubai, it was detained and destroyed, my passport was marked, we were delayed 45 minutes and heres the catch: im 13 years old. stick that in your pipe and smoke it dubai.

22 September, 2006 19:48  

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