A 24-year-old British man has been sentenced to 25 years in a Dubai prison for drug possession after a small amount of CBD vape oil was found in his car. CBD oil is commonly used to treat pains and doesn’t even get you high.
Billy Hood, who was working as a soccer coach in the country, claims he was forced to sign a false confession to trafficking the drug into the country.
In a statement to his lawyers, Hood claims the oils were left in the car by a friend visiting from England that he had dropped off at the airport the previous week. He was under the impression that it was normal vape oil.
Hood was arrested at his Dubai home in January this year. Police showed up pointing tasers and demanding to know where the drugs were. They said there were interested in him because of his social media.
He was later brought back to a police station where he was asked to sign a document in Arabic. When he asked for the English translation the officer laughed, saying if you do not sign you will never leave.
He refused to sign, but after several days in a holding cell gave he gave into the pressure and signed the document not knowing what it said.
Apparently, he was kept at the police station and in an isolation cell for 14 days without any hygiene products, BBC reports.
Hood was a former semi-pro soccer player from London who, according to friends, has always been committed to fitness and a healthy lifestyle. He claims he has never taken part in any illegal drugs. After his arrest, he even volunteered for a drug test, which came back negative.
His family back home have obtained lawyers and are asking the UK and UAE governments to intervene in the case.
The UAE is notorious for its zero-tolerance drug policies. In 2008 a man was sentenced to four years in prison after customs officials found a piece of cannabis stuck to his shoe that weighed less than a grain of sugar.
Their drug policy even considers drugs already in your system when you enter the country the same as possession.
Earlier this year, a US man was arrested because hospital staff found traces of hash in his system after going in for treatment. Although he consumed the drugs in Las Vegas days earlier, he still faces three years in prison.