South Asian Insider
Opinion and Editorial
As Indian Couple Faces Drug Charges In Qatar, Attempts To Bring Them Back
(Insider Bureau)-The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is coordinating with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to bring back an Indian couple sentenced to ten years imprisonment in Qatar on drug charges.The development comes as the NCB investigation revealed that the couple- Mohammed Shareeq Qureshi and his wife Oniba Kauser Shakeel Ahmed- did not have knowledge about drugs in their luggage. "On September 27, 2019, Oniba's father Shakeel Ahmed Qureshi gave a complaint alleging that his daughter and son-in-law were deceived by a woman Tabassum Riyaz Qureshi, the aunt of Mohammed Shareeq Qureshi and her associate Nizam Kara in the garb of a honeymoon package to Qatar," NCB said.
NCB said that the couple was arrested at Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar on July 6, 2019, by drug enforcement agencies who recovered 4.1 kilograms of Hashish concealed in the luggage bags provided by Tabassum and Nizam Kara.
KPS Malhotra, Deputy Director, Operations, NCB said that the agency's role is that of a facilitator and it will approach MEA and the Indian embassy in Qatar.
"An enquiry was conducted based on Oniba's father complaint and information was gathered on this syndicate. Our investigation shows they (the couple) don't have knowledge about the drugs in their luggage," he told ANI.
"NCB's role will be that of the facilitator. The work will be done through MEA. We will approach MEA and the Indian embassy in Qatar. They are already trying to help," he added.
According to the NCB, on October 14, 2020, Nizam Kara admitted that Mohammad Shareeq and Oniba Kauser Shakeel Ahmed were sent to Qatar by him and his associate Tabassum."Mohammad Shareeq and Oniba Kauser were handed over the luggage bag purported to be containing Zarda/Tobacco by them, whereas Charas was concealed in the luggage instead of Zarda/Tobacco," NCB said.
Oniba was pregnant while travelling to Qatar and later delivered a baby girl at the prison.
"NCB and the government have supported us. NCB found that the two did not know that they have drugs with them. Investigation is going in the right direction. I trust that NCB will go to Qatar for my children. The aunt was very close to them, we did not imagine this to happen: Shariq's mother said.
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