An Indian housewife claimed in court on Sunday that the poppy seeds that she was caught carrying at the airport were for cooking and she didn’t know that they were a banned substance.
Law enforcement officers were said to have stopped the 33-year-old housewife, A.G., in possession of 255gm of poppy seeds at Dubai International Airport in August.
Gulf News reports that Drugs prosecutors accused A.G. of smuggling and possessing poppy seeds for her personal consumption.
“I did bring those seeds with me, but I did not know that it was a banned substance. In my country, we use these seeds for cooking and I usually buy them for cooking,” argued the suspect when she entered a not guilty plea before the Dubai Court of First Instance.
Meanwhile A.G.’s lawyer contended in court that his client was unfoundedly and illegally detained by Customs officers at the airport.
“The defendant is a mother of five children and she wouldn’t have risked her life and that of her family had she known that those seeds were drugs,” the lawyer told the court.
“She usually buys such seeds for cooking. Those seeds are sold in prepacked nylon sacks and it is not mentioned on them that they are drugs. The packaging just reads seeds … she brought them for cooking and did not know that it could be grown and used as a drug,” argued the lawyer, who produced three packages as a sample before the bench of judges.
The defendant was denied bail and she remains in custody until the court hands out a verdict on November 17.
What is a poppy seed ?
A poppy seed is a tiny seed shaped like a kidney. It is harvested from the opium poppy plant and is classified as an oilseed, which means its oil is extracted by pressure and used almost as commonly as its seeds.
Many countries around the world produce opium poppy, with India and Turkey reported as the top growers. The seed is commonly used as a cooking ingredient in baked goods, as a garnish or part of a spice mixture.