Whether it is Thailand, Panama, South Africa or the Greek Islands: Israeli drug dealers have shown a fearless spirit in recent years, dealing drugs in numerous countries – even in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. Now, another Israeli who is accused of being a drug dealer, 43-year-old Fida Kewan from Haifa, has been sentenced to death in the UAE. This comes as her family proclaims her innocence and the Israeli government being silent on the matter.
It has barely been a year since Israel and the UAE normalized it’s ties. Whereas many Israeli’s enjoyed visiting the UAE and the opportunity to shop without their own extortionate taxes, drug dealers have blended in with the crowd. But sadly, drug dealers misjudged the UAE as yet another place to have fun and earn money off the ultra wealthy and their desire for cocaine.
The UAE is not one of those countries where a drug dealer will simply face a fine, or perhaps a year in prison. In the UK, for example – you can murder someone and be out on parole in less than 2 years. You can deal drugs and be sent back to your own country to serve a prison sentence in order to save the tax payer money – but in the UAE, it is a different story altogether. The rule of law – and quite a strict law with real consequences, is operative and anyone caught foul of it, will pay a heavy price.
Fida Kewan is not the first Israeli accused of drug smuggling in the UAE:
In 2021, Khalil Dasuki, an Israeli resident of Lod, was arrested in Dubai while attempting to smuggle $136,000,000 worth of pure cocaine. The Dubai Police called it the largest drug seizure in the region at the time.
Whereas there is hope that Israeli diplomatic intervention may lead to a life sentence rather than the death penalty, UAE prisons are no joke.
Dubai has recently been seen as a safer haven for investments, particularly at a time when the U.K. acted outside of international law to confiscate assets of the Eurasian and Middle Eastern elite. The U.K. even went as far as to believe it can rule on the divorce case of the ruler of Dubai in a London court – something which international analysts find beyond arrogant and without a legal base.
Whereas Dubai and the UAE would want to show to multinationals that it is a trusted regime for investments, it remains to be seen how “liberal” it would act when it comes to the possession of large quantities of illegal drugs with the possible intent to sell and supply.