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Egypt sentences five foreign nationals to death

A British citizen and three citizens from the Seychelles were sentenced to death by hanging for drug smuggling; a Pakistani man was sentenced in absentia

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din, Monday 3 Jun 2013
drugs
(Photo: Snapshot from AL-Arabeya tv channel)
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An Egyptian court has sentenced five foreign nationals to execution by hanging for drug smuggling offences.

Five men, including one Briton, one Pakistani and three from the Seychelles, were sentenced to death on Monday after Egypt's Grand Mufti, the country's highest religious authority, approved the death sentences based on documents referred to him by the Red Sea Criminal Court in April.

The men, who have been described as an "international gang," were arrested in 2011 while trying to smuggled three tons of cannabis into Egypt by sea, close to Marsa Alam on the southeast coast of Egypt.

The Pakistani sailor, who was not detained, was sentenced in absentia.

The court also ordered a fine of LE85 million be imposed on the smugglers.

In April, Egypt's anti-narcotics authority seized 22 tons of cannabis on a ship from Morocco, the largest quantity ever seized in the history of Egyptian anti-drug operations.

In September 2012, Egyptian police captured a 15-ton truckload of cannabis being smuggled into the Nile Valley from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

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