Dubai: India's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has warned incoming Indians against bringing prohibited medicines to this Gulf nation, media reported.
"This point cannot be reiterated enough. Indians who travel to the UAE should carefully check the dos and don'ts we have listed on the embassy's website while carrying medicines," the Gulf News quoted T.P. Seetharam as saying on Wednesday.
While referring to the arrest of Kerala expatriate Shiju Thomas last month, the ambassador said: "We keep talking about the issue time and again. But people are still landing on the wrong side of the law by bringing banned medicines or carrying parcels given by strangers."
Kochi resident Shiju Thomas was arrested with nine small stamps of psychedelic drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), at the Abu Dhabi International Airport in June.
An embassy official said that six Indians were serving jail terms in the UAE for carrying banned drugs.
"Most Indian expatriates prefer to buy medicines in India and bring them to the UAE as they find it cheaper back home. But many of them end up in jail due to ignorance," the ambassador said.
The Indian embassy in UAE has issued nine guidelines for bringing medicines and drugs in the country on its website.
The embassy has urged Indians to ensure the medicines they carry do not contain any banned substance.
"We advise travellers to check the Dubai Customs website that gives a comprehensive list of drugs that are banned in the UAE, and also the permissible quantity of certain drugs that can be brought into the country," said Seetharam.
Apart from selective medicines and drugs, the patients are mandated to bring only three months' supply of prescription medicine.
One of the guidelines also warn Indians against carrying poppy seeds or accidentally carrying bakery products that might contain such seeds.
Poppy seeds are strictly banned in the UAE.