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UAE: Thai woman cleared of drug charges

by Mazhar Farooqui

Published: Khaleej Times on Mon 4 Sep 2023

UAE: Thai woman cleared of drug charges in a case of mistaken identity; all set to return home

A Thai visitor in Dubai is set to return home after a distressing experience involving mistaken identity in a drug case.

Last week, PJ was finally acquitted of wrongful drug possession charges, which had led to a Dh5,000 fine in July. Justice was served on August 31 when the real culprit was caught and PJ was declared innocent. During investigation, it was discovered that the man initially nabbed with drugs in Dubai had assumed PJ’s identity. This revelation came to light on June 6, when she was on her way back to Thailand. She was stopped at immigration and informed of a travel ban related to the ongoing drug case.

The woman had originally arrived in the UAE in April on a visit visa to reunite with her partner.

“I am so glad that this nightmare is finally behind me,” said PJ in a statement released through her lawyer. “I can’t thank my lawyers enough, who tirelessly fought for my innocence and ensured justice prevailed.”

Emirati lawyer Maha Bin Hendi, managing partner of Maha Bin Hendi Law Firm, said that her client was stuck in Dubai, facing drug charges while her visit visas had also expired. “She had been slapped with a Dh5,000 penalty, and while she could have paid the fine and left, it would have meant carrying the stigma of a conviction. Obviously, we didn’t want that outcome.”