Egyptian arrested for smuggling narcotics in box of dates
CAIRO (AP) — Police at Cairo’s international airport arrested an Egyptian man returning from France on Friday with over 600 narcotic pills and two packs of marijuana stuffed into a carton of dates, according to airport authorities.
Egyptian customs officials found 620 tablets of Tramadol, the powerful opioid painkiller, along with marijuana wrapped in cellophane, hidden in a box of Medjool dates — a type of sweet, tree-dried fruits — that the man had brought back with him from Paris.
The unidentified passenger was detained and faces possible charges for violating Egypt’s anti-narcotics and smuggling laws, said Ibrahim Abdel-Latif, an official in the airport’s custom authority.
Tramadol is listed by Egyptian authorities as an illegal drug because it is widely used as a heroin substitute.
This was not the airport’s first brush with drug trafficking. Customs authorities say they routinely pick up foreigners and Egyptians alike for attempting to smuggle in outlawed painkillers and amphetamines popular in the Middle East. A 34-year-old British woman spent 13 months behind bars after she was caught sneaking a few hundred Tramadol pills into Egypt last year.