An Omani national was sentenced to death by firing squad in Ras Al Khaimah yesterday after confessing to smuggling drugs when he was busted by undercover cops. See the story in the Gulf News
Five drug traffickers to face firing squad in RAK
Ras Al Khaimah: The Criminal Court on Wednesday sentenced five people to death. They were involved in drug possession and drug trafficking. The court session presided by Judge Bilal Abul Baqi passed the sentence on an Omani and four Pakistanis after they confessed to drug trafficking through the Oman-Ras Al Khaimah border.
A senior court official said they will be executed by firing squad.
The official added the Omani was searching for a buyer for one kilogram of opium and another kilogram of hashish when the RAK Anti-Narcotics Dep-artment received a tip-off and sent an undercover agent to do the deal with him. The Omani delivered the 2kg of drugs to the police source and he was arrested and the drugs seized.
During police investigations, the suspect confessed to smuggling the drugs in a television set, claiming it was a gift for a friend in RAK.
He also claimed the drugs did not belong to him and were for other people in the UAE who were going to sell them. During the court session the Omani did not provide any names of the people, thus a panel of judges sentenced him to death.
Drugs are now so rife in Oman that even the local papers are reporting the Government admitting this. That's how bad things are getting. While the Times of Oman reported that young Omanis are getting hooked on the demon weed of tobacco, last year Ministry of Health Undersecretary HE Dr Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Saidi confirmed that the number of registered heroin addicts had reached 1,862, and was quoted as saying that "there had been a particular increase in drug use among school and college girls". Hashish is considered common in schools too.
Being close to both major drug suppliers Iran and Afghanistan, and the big regional drugs markets of Saudi and the UAE, Oman is a major trans-shipment route for drugs and dealers are clearly encouraging a local market. Nearly 2000 registered addicts seems a lot in a country of only 2 million nationals.
Meanwhile, a branch of Bank Muscat was held up at knife-point by a masked man who got away with 48,000rials [~US$120k]. What's most surprising is the story was published in the Times of Oman too. That it was Bank Muscat is widely known but wasn't reported.
Those days of Oman being considered 'crime free' are a long way gone.