A DRUG smuggler attempted to bring narcotics worth more than BD150,000 into Bahrain in a massage chair, a court heard.
The 35-year-old Bahraini was arrested at Bahrain International Airport on March 12 in possession of a kilo of crystal meth, known locally as shabu.
Authorities were already on the trail of the alleged smuggler when they received word that he was flying into the country.
He is standing trial in the High Criminal Court, but has pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking – a charge that can lead to a life prison sentence.
However, two police officers appeared in court yesterday to give evidence against him.
One of them said the defendant smuggled drugs into Bahrain with help from accomplices in Iran and Dubai.
“We received information about the defendant smuggling drugs into the country via Bahrain International Airport,” the officer told judges yesterday.
“He told us the Iranian man led him to another person in Dubai, who supplied him with the drugs to smuggle into Bahrain.
“I alerted authorities at the airport that the defendant would be coming on a Gulf Air flight and might be in possession of narcotics.
“I told them to search him well, because he used technical and professional ways to hide large amounts of drugs in his belongings.
“Authorities did not find any drugs in the two bags he was carrying, but found the narcotics in a massage chair that was in a box.”
The other witness, an airport official who uncovered the drugs during the search, said the narcotics were “almost impossible” to find.
“We already had information that this person (the defendant) was smuggling drugs into the country,” he told judges.
“We searched a massage chair he was carrying and found a kilo of what we believed to be shabu.
“The defendant hid it in such a way that it was almost impossible to discover.”
The defendant has admitted to using drugs “for a very long time” and was previously jailed for 10 years for selling drugs in 2007, but his sentence was reduced to 12 months after he co-operated with police to arrest other drug dealers.
However, the defendant claimed he had no knowledge of the drugs hidden inside the massage chair.
“I travelled to Iran to purchase items to sell,” he said in his statement.
“I met an Iranian man and asked if he knew where I could buy shabu.
“He said he could get me one gramme for BD150 and also deliver it to Bahrain by sea.
“He told me to go to Dubai and meet an Iranian man, who I gave BD4,000 in return for shabu.
“I then met the person in Iran and he gave me a massage chair to take back to Bahrain.
“He told me to give it to another person in Bahrain in return for the drugs."
“I took the chair, but did not know what was inside."
“I was then arrested at Bahrain International Airport when authorities said they found shabu.”
His trial has been adjourned until May 28 for defence witnesses to give evidence.