Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Is this legal?

Remember the spate of stories in the international media last year about people being jailed in Dubai for carrying 'drugs' which are perfectly legal almost everywhere else?

Stories like this from The Times:

Britons heading to the United Arab Emirates have been warned that carrying some foodstuffs and common over-the-counter medications could warrant a four-year prison sentence.

Among the banned substances are foods containing poppy seeds; melatonin, which is taken to ease the effects of jetlag; codeine, a common ingredient in pain relief medication, and any trace of drugs such as cannabis, however small.

The warning was issued by the charity Fair Trials International, which assists people facing trials abroad, following a spate of arrests of visitors to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The charity's chief executive Catherine Wolthuizen said: “We even have reports of the imprisonment of a Swiss man for 'possession’ of three poppy seeds on his clothing after he ate a bread roll at Heathrow.”


So what are Spinneys doing selling these?





The Times' story is here.

17 comments:

D said...

Hahahahaha... I've seen these bagels before but never knew they were poppy seeds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the real nick said...

Because there is no customs checkpoint at the Spinneys bakery counter.
Enjoy the frisson of eating a poppyseed bagel in broad daylight.

Grumpy Goat said...

I imagine some Muggins' disastrous experience:-

He needs to do a visa run. Anticipating a 'circuits-and-bumps' trip to Doha, he grabs a bagel on the way to the airport.

Upon arrival back in Dubai, Muggins is caught in possession of poppy seeds.

Four years later, he's deported. Oh wait! His visa expired during the period of incarceration, so it's back to jail.

Mars said...

hmmmm....maybe they're fake poppy seeds and are really just peppercorns *shakes head at ineptitude of dubai*

Christopher Saul said...

Melatonin is on sale at Dubai chemists!

Seabee said...

That's what Cat Le-Huy spent time in Al Slammer for having.

Curiouser and curiouser...

ZeTallGerman said...

seabee, I LOVE poppy seed bagels / buns, so whilst on holiday last summer I gorged myself on them... and in complete paranoia washed all my clothes, turned pockets inside-out, etc. before flying back to the sandlands; only to find those aforementioned bagels in Spinney's... Do I dare say the word? Hy-po-crites. Argh.

JadAoun.com said...

I think the rule is: if its illegal to bring in, then its perfectly fine to buy it from the local market.

My cousin flew in with poker chips in his carry-on and was arrested at the airport. Sharaf DG sells them for AED 15 a box.

Seabee said...

It's just getting more and more bizarre!

Denewiemont said...

There was a great mythbusters episode a few years back explaining this. Deets here http://www.poppies.org/faq/legal-issues/can-eating-a-poppy-seed-bagel-cause-you-to-fail-a-drug-test/

DubaiDave said...

Hmm, I wonder if they sell these bagels at Dubai International Airport, haha :)

alexander... said...

Hmmm. Is selling bagels legal?

Seabee said...

Alex, yes it is as long as they're kosher bagels.

SK said...

They care for their citizens and their businesses, if people bring their drugs from abroad, the local pharmacies will not be able to sell their drugs to them and charge extort people. My father was disallowed to bring a prescription drug (properly sealed) into Oman and he had to buy it from here for 120 dhs a pop. This is just insane, we had the complete paper work!

sunil said...

loool they "take care" of them indeed. it is called double standards. just ask the cop what that means when you get into an accident with a local national (emirati)

tigerlyllie said...

Does Sharaf DG really sell poker chips?? Any particular branch??

Anonymous said...

Old post I know but spinneys can import poppy seeds because they are frozen and they have clearance from the municipality as the poppy seeds will not germinate.