A reminder to all passengers, do not accept items from strangers when flying. You might not realize the item that you are carrying is illegal/banned in the UAE. An Arab passenger learned this lesson the hard way recently, when he agreed to carry a packet of “medicine” for a “friend’s sister.” Upon arriving at the Sharjah International Airport, he was arrested for allegedly carrying narcotic substances.
Related Post: List of Banned Medicines in the UAE
Our intentions may be clean in helping carry packages from others but we still need to be responsible and learn about laws and procedures.
Passenger Arrested after Helping Friend Bring Package to Sister in UAE
According to a report from Gulf News, the passenger, identified as S.A., travelled to the UAE on a visit visa after landing a job. But when he arrived, he was asked by airport police to open his bags and explain about the suspicious packet. He said it contained medicine for a sick woman, and there was a man outside waiting to pick it up. He was not carrying any medical prescription.
The passenger recalled that some of his family, friends, and neighbors came to see him before he left, wishing him good luck. One of them requested him to bring some medicine for his sick sister in the UAE, so he agreed. Little did he know that the “medicine” was illegal drugs.
Lack of awareness of the law does not exempt anyone from prosecution.
The airport police arrested the passenger, along with the man who came to receive the packet. Even if they understood that the passenger was innocent, they still had to press charges. One officer cited, “Lack of awareness of the law does not exempt anyone from prosecution.”
Meanwhile, the Director of Ports and Airports Police of Sharjah, Brigadier Abdul Salam Abdul Rahman Bin Faris, reminded everyone to obey airport security and safety guidelines. “Do not carry any prohibited materials while boarding the plane. Travellers are advised not to help strangers to carry their baggage. Passengers must cooperate with airport and security officials at any point of time during their travel,” he cautioned.
The incident serves as a friendly reminder for us to be extra careful about carrying items for others. We tell kids not to talk to strangers, but we should also be reminded not to accept baggage from people we don’t know. As much as we want to help people by carrying items for their loved ones, we have the right to say “no.” After all, knowing every single item that we bring is our responsibility.
If you have trusted friends/relatives asking you to bring a package for their loved ones back home, it’s still wise that you physically scan the package first. Our intentions may be clean in helping carry packages from others but we still need to be responsible and learn about laws and procedures.