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Indian in UAE denies using poppy seeds as drugs

Dubai, July 10 (IANS): An Indian farmer, who was arrested for smuggling poppy seeds into the United Arab Emirates (UAE), claimed before a Dubai court Thursday that the seeds were used to prepare soup and sauce, a media report said.

The Indian, 33, identified only as B.S., was arrested by the customs inspectors on arrival at the Dubai International Airport for possessing poppy seeds placed in his luggage in April this year, Gulf News reported.

He was subsequently charged by drugs prosecutors with smuggling and possessing 102.5 gm of poppy seeds for his personal consumption.

During the proceedings in the Dubai Court of First Instance Thursday, the suspect admitted that he brought in the substances with him, but denied he used these as drugs.

"I brought those seeds with me from India, but I did not know that it was banned. Where I come from, we use this for cooking," the report quoted B.S. as saying.

On being asked by the court if he eats it, he said: "Yes sir. we use this like a spice in the sauce and we use it to cook the soup as well. I possessed it for cooking purposes."

A ruling in the case will be pronounced July 21.