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Old 7th September 2010, 09:46   #1
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Default A serious warning .. in DUBAI!!!

Hi Guys,
Yesterday, I came to know of a case from a friend of mine which is very scary. One of his friends was traveling to UK via Dubai. Unfortunately he was carrying a packet of Khas Khas which is a commonly used spice in some Indian curries and sweets. Khus Khus is also known as poppy seed which can be sprouted to grow narcotics (afeem etc.).

This innocent person did not know that recently the laws in UAE and other Gulf countries have been revised and carrying Khas Khas is punishable with minimum 20 years of imprisonment or even worse with death penalty. Currently, the person is in a jail in Dubai for the last two weeks. His friends are frantically trying hard for his release but are finding that this has become a very very serious case. Lawyers are asking huge fees amounting to AED 100,000 even to appear in the court to plead for his innocence.

Please forward this email to all you know specially in India. They should know the seriousness of this matter and should never ever carry even minutest quantities of the following items when traveling to Gulf countries:

1. Khas Khas whether raw, roasted or cooked.
2. Paan
3. Beetle nut (supari and its products, e.g. Paan Parag etc.)

The penalties are very severe and it could destroy the life of an innocent person.

/- Ramki

Last edited by ramki067 : 7th September 2010 at 09:49.
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Old 7th September 2010, 09:54   #2
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Thank you for this information.

For the friend of your friend, the best bet seems to be intervention through Indian Embassy and through the minister Mr. Vayalar Ravi (Vayalar Ravi, Pravasi Minister, NRI Minister for India from Kerala, India).

Hope he comes back to India soon.

Biju
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Old 7th September 2010, 09:56   #3
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Oh Thanks Biju, will convey this message to him.
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Old 7th September 2010, 09:58   #4
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Thanks for sharing this information .
Had this incidence happened to any White man then they would have easily let him off , but since the person in question is an Indian he will face all the severe difficulties. Our government do not have the guts to defend our citizens in foreign country.

Dubai Government has good reason to ban Poppy seeds, but ironically drugs, narcotics & sex are quite easily available in the Dubai. Lot of rich sheikhs from neighboring kingdom come to Dubai to freak out and have fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tj123 View Post
Thanks for sharing this information .
Had this incidence happened to any White man then they would have easily let him off , but since the person in question is an Indian he will face all the severe difficulties. Our government do not have the guts to defend our citizens in foreign country.

Dubai Government has good reason to ban Poppy seeds, but ironically drugs, narcotics & sex are quite easily available in the Dubai. Lot of rich sheikhs from neighboring kingdom come to Dubai to freak out and have fun.
Bullshit, my friend. Westerners have been caught with related things and gotten into big problems too. Now stop spreading your prejudice.

Last edited by Eddy : 7th September 2010 at 15:32. Reason: Deleting racial comments and references.
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Old 7th September 2010, 10:16   #5
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Very unfortunate. No matter where you travel, make it a point not to carry all Indian spices and masalas with you... Try to enjoy the food in the country where you're going!

I know some people who go overseas with enough rice and curry powders to survive for more than two months! You're not going to a war-zone or refugee camp, come on!
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Old 7th September 2010, 10:17   #6
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Thank You Ramki for information. I read about this on other websites too where all kind of people irrespective of which country they are from are held in prison for carrying such things.

I am worried now. I am traveling to India in dec from USA. My airline is Emirates and have a stop over at Dubai.

What are the precaution i should take? Please advice.

I found this link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7234786.stm

Last edited by chevelle : 7th September 2010 at 10:28.
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Old 7th September 2010, 10:32   #7
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I have heard about this - is the said person from IBM?

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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
Thank You Ramki for information. I read about this on other websites too where all kind of people irrespective of which country they are from are held in prison for carrying such things.

I am worried now. I am traveling to India in dec from USA. My airline is Emirates and have a stop over at Dubai.

What are the precaution i should take? Please advice.
chevelle - if you can - do not carry any food items except biscuits, chocolates, sweets and baby food (if you require so). You can get everything in US. Even poppy seeds.Even if you leave Dubai, US customs carries out regular checks by sniffer dogs and random open box checks. Do NOT carry ANY vegetables/nuts/sprouts/seeds.
Also carry enough proof of your and your family's identity, and keep your employers HR departments number ready. One of my colleagues was detained in Dubai for a few hours as her retinal scan (seemed to) match that of a wanted person.
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Old 7th September 2010, 10:40   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tj123 View Post
Thanks for sharing this information .
Had this incidence happened to any White man then they would have easily let him off , but since the person in question is an Indian he will face all the severe difficulties. Our government do not have the guts to defend our citizens in foreign country.
I disagree. There are reports on the net of Westerners who have had similar fate as well, owing to their ignorance of the laws in the UAE. So, as mentioned, lets not generalize.

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Originally Posted by tj123 View Post
Dubai Government has good reason to ban Poppy seeds, but ironically drugs, narcotics & sex are quite easily available in the Dubai.
Quite possible.
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Old 7th September 2010, 10:45   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post

chevelle - if you can - do not carry any food items except biscuits, chocolates, sweets and baby food (if you require so). You can get everything in US. Even poppy seeds.Even if you leave Dubai, US customs carries out regular checks by sniffer dogs and random open box checks. Do NOT carry ANY vegetables/nuts/sprouts/seeds.
Also carry enough proof of your and your family's identity, and keep your employers HR departments number ready. One of my colleagues was detained in Dubai for a few hours as her retinal scan (seemed to) match that of a wanted person.
Thanks Sid

While traveling to India, i am not much worried as i won't be carrying any food stuff - only almonds, pista and chocolates. But i am worried while coming back to USA as that's when we plan to carry some Spices and Medicines.

The last time i traveled in Emirates was in April 2009 and at that time we didn't face any such issues, but since then, the number of arrest have gone up. So i am a bit worried.

Will try to avoid taking such things though.
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Old 7th September 2010, 11:15   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
Bullshit, my friend. Westerners have been caught with related things and gotten into big problems too. Now stop spreading your prejudice.
The person you are mentioning might be someone who had carried contrabands not poppy seeds/ trivial items , anyways what I mean to say that Western government have muscle & might to get there citizens out of trouble which we donít have at all here.
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Old 7th September 2010, 11:28   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
Very unfortunate. No matter where you travel, make it a point not to carry all Indian spices and masalas with you... Try to enjoy the food in the country where you're going!

I know some people who go overseas with enough rice and curry powders to survive for more than two months! You're not going to a war-zone or refugee camp, come on!
Come on, why cant you carry home made curry powder if you are not travelling to/through these great countries? You need atleast one meal like what you can have at home.
I carry it all the time and only sometimes they have asked what they are. Everyone in the world knows about Indian spices. They can always throw it away at immigration if they dont want to let something in.

I hope Indian authorities quiz the passengers on what they are carrying while the flights go to these common sense lacking countries. They can protect the citizens pro-actively that way.

Last edited by srishiva : 7th September 2010 at 11:31.
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Old 7th September 2010, 12:46   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Come on, why cant you carry home made curry powder if you are not travelling to/through these great countries? You need atleast one meal like what you can have at home.
I carry it all the time and only sometimes they have asked what they are. Everyone in the world knows about Indian spices. They can always throw it away at immigration if they dont want to let something in.

I hope Indian authorities quiz the passengers on what they are carrying while the flights go to these common sense lacking countries. They can protect the citizens pro-actively that way.
The reason why you shouldnt carry is " Better Safe than Sorry", I have seen the treatment vetted to a African guy in Dubai for carrying a polythene bag with clothes inside and it wasnt pretty.
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Old 7th September 2010, 12:56   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
Thanks Sid

While traveling to India, i am not much worried as i won't be carrying any food stuff - only almonds, pista and chocolates. But i am worried while coming back to USA as that's when we plan to carry some Spices and Medicines.

The last time i traveled in Emirates was in April 2009 and at that time we didn't face any such issues, but since then, the number of arrest have gone up. So i am a bit worried.

Will try to avoid taking such things though.

AFAIK transit passenger would not be checked by customs, nor would be their check in baggages!

However, your hand baggage will be checked! One can however ask all their queries to their airlines.

Note: Middle East laws are pesky! I once met a stranded student in airport because he was not allowed to pass through Bahrain, just because he was a student from Oman! No amount of showing proofs that he would fly off the next day were heard to. He had to put up in the terminal for 30 hours!
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Old 7th September 2010, 13:16   #14
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Once my uncle & aunt were stuck in Seattle airport customs for a long time thanks to Rotti, a Mangalorean dry bread. This was early 90s I think.

A serious warning .. in DUBAI!!!-rotti.jpg

The rude female customs officer was convinced it was a kind of drug. She even got a sniffing dog go at it repeatedly. Generally they go via JFK/Newark and never had such problems with any processed food items. The JFK/Newark customs know Indian passengers rather too well.
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Old 7th September 2010, 13:38   #15
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Default Carrying Poppy is not trivial

Quote:
Originally Posted by tj123 View Post
The person you are mentioning might be someone who had carried contrabands not poppy seeds/ trivial items , anyways what I mean to say that Western government have muscle & might to get there citizens out of trouble which we donít have at all here.
Carrying Poppy seeds is not trivial in many countries. If you are caught with Poppy seeds in Singapore, it is punishable in the same was as in Dubai.
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