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Seven Pakistanis sentenced to death in Egypt for drug smuggling

Egyptian authorities seized drugs brought by Red Sea. Source: Representational.

CAIRO: A court in Egypt has sentenced ten people including seven Pakistanis to death on charges of smuggling in over two tonnes of heroin by sea.

Egyptian uthorities seized the drugs brought in via the Red Sea, worth around 2.5 billion pounds ($159 million), in 2019. The ruling can be appealed within two months. 

The suspects were convicted for having stashed the drugs, also including nearly 100 kilogrammes (220 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine, in a hidden storage room aboard a ship, the source added, without giving details on where the shipment originated.

The Red Sea Criminal Court on Sunday sentenced 10 defendants, including two Egyptians, to death for their involvement in smuggling tons of drugs, including heroin, into the country through the Red Sea. The suspect includes seven Pakistanis, an Iranian, and two Egyptians, accused of bringing over two tons of heroin.

In April 2019, Egypt’s Armed Forces and Police thwarted the smuggling of 2,147 kilograms of heroin, 99 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (ICE), and banknotes on a ship in the Red Sea.

The Interior Ministry stated that the sector to combat drugs and organized crime and the National Security Agency received information on the preparation of a commercial ship carrying the flag of a foreign country in the Red Sea that sending drug shipments to Egypt’s mainland.

The ministry clarified that the military and police personnel found a secret store in the ship and seized a large quantity of narcotic substances including 1,900 large volumes of crude heroin, 99 rolls of ICE drugs in addition to 305.000 Iranian Rial, 3,375 Palestinian Shekels, US$171 and four cell phones.

Human rights groups have routinely slammed Egypt’s “significant spike” in recorded executions, which saw a more than threefold rise to 107 last year, from 32 in 2019. Egypt carries out the world’s third-highest number of executions after China and Iran.