BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Wales
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Julia Wheeler reports
"She said she was frightened and suspicious at what she found"
 real 28k

Sunday, 18 March, 2001, 12:57 GMT
Air hostess admits hiding cocaine
Dubai, UAE
Drug charges are taken extremely seriously in the UAE
An airline stewardess from south Wales has appeared in court in the United Arab Emirates on a drugs charge.

Katherine Jenkins, 30, from Cimla, Neath, south Wales, has denied possessing cocaine, but she has admitted hiding cocaine which she claimed she found in her bedroom.

Katherine Jenkins
Katherine Jenkins is charged with possessing cocaine
If found guilty, she could be jailed for four years.

Ms Jenkins told the court in Ras al Khaimah that she had found the drug in a cigarette packet at her apartment in Dubai.

She said she found it after one of her co-defendants in the case - Australian Heidi Dabour - visited her flat.

Ms Jenkins said she was "frightened and suspicious" at what she found and so hid the drugs in a false ceiling in the gym at her apartment block.

The court heard that Ms Dabour was the only person who had been in her bedroom since she had returned from a work trip, so she assumed the drugs must belong to her.

Death penalty

Both Ms Jenkins and Ms Deboer are alleged to have been part of what has been described as a drug trafficking ring operating in the Emirates.

The UAE has become increasingly concerned about illegal drugs, and in the mid-1990s dramatically increased the penalties for smuggling, possessing and using drugs.

The court, which is presided over by three judges - an Egyptian and two Saudis - is due to reconvene next Sunday to hear further police evidence. The trial is expected to continue for several weeks.

Ms Jenkins is one of five Britons who - along with the Australian woman and a Lebanese man - face a number of charges linked to the smuggling of cocaine and hashish.

Three of the group - charged with importing drugs - face the death penalty if found guilty.

The case is being heard in the traditional and conservative emirate of Ras al Khaimah, where the accused have been held in prison since their arrest in Dubai in November.

Anna Bartlett, 22, from Southend on Sea, Essex, admits importing cocaine and hashish but denies any intent to use, sell or trade them.

Fellow Briton Stacy Simpson, 28, and his girlfriend Anne Kidd, 32, both from Leeds, deny collaborating with Ms Bartlett to import cocaine and hashish.

He also denies possessing, selling and using cocaine, hashish and other tablets.

Ms Kidd also denies possessing and using cocaine, methadone and morphine.

Australian defendant, Heidi Dabour also denies the charges of cocaine possession and use against her.

The fifth Briton, Daniel Maalouf, 28, a Londoner of Lebanese origin, admits using hashish but denies possessing and selling hashish and cocaine.

Lebanese national Abdul Hamid Dandashi, 25, also denies charges of using drugs.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories