To: Remi, Will, Fédé
Sent: Friday, 8 February
Subject: Beyond Belief
"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."
"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."
"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."
To: the amigos
Sent: not long after Cedric's mail
There is a funny anecdote which happened not too long ago.
A young Aussie is caught with 1 gramme of the stuff at the airport - transit flight - he had not even planned to go to Dubai. Spends a couple of days in prison and goes in front of the judge. He is used to the lenience of the judiciary system in Australia, I guess, refuses a lawyer and *demands* to be judged on the spot when he heard, after the exposition of the charges brought against him, that he will know in a couple of days the sentence.
Little did he know that in this country, it is not a fine (I guess affordable in Australia) but three to five years in prison. he had to wait two more weeks in prison despite his *demand* before finding out that he has to stay four years in prison.
But Cedric will love the rest of the story.
There is a conspiracy theory yeap! (it is about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - but it could be true of Dubai)
The ruling family bans the import of drugs and alcohol because they want to have the monopoly of the trade. Smugglers (by definition anybody else than themselves with their impunity or their immunity) are severely punished to protect their business. Saudi Arabia (says a well informed friend of mine) is amongst the first importers of Jack Daniels (or Black Label? hmmm but who cares except for Johnny Walker). The Arab youth is burdenned with alcoholism and drug addiction (say quickly: Royal Riyadh Rehab center). It's a way for the numerous (5.000+ members) and pennyless (this being relative) al-Saud royal family members to make themselves some pocket money. As opposed to America & Europe where the smuggling is done by poor immigrants, here it is done by rich locals.
it is so far unproven but go to Jeddah or Riyadh and ask for a whisky, you'll always be able to find some despite the country ultrastrict wahabite law.
besos to all
PS - I go to the beach tomorrow, anybody tempted by this more pleasant aspect of the life here?