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No special treatment for UN staff caught with hashish at Kathmandu airport

Staff Reporter May 30, 2015

30 May 2015 3:30 PM AEST: Nepal Police has said there will be no special treatment for the UN staff caught with 6.5 grams of hashish at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

German citizen Ismail Amir El-Mahi was caught with the illegal substance at the Kathmandu airport on Thursday, May 28. Inspector Prem Shahi arrested him from the hand baggage screening area of the only airport in the Himalayan nation. It was apparently tucked away in the right side pocket of his jeans.

According to Superintendent of Police Dhiraj Pratap Singh, no preferential treatment will granted for El-Mahi just because he is a staff of the United Nations World Food Programme. “He will have to face the law of the land,” SP Singh from the Narcotics Control Bureau told this afternoon.

The accused had arrived in the earthquake-torn country on 27 April as part of WFP’s relief operations. It is understood the logistics officer has been with the biggest humanitarian organisation for over a decade.

The 57 year old, who has already admitted his addiction to the drug, will face a local court tomorrow. Nepal has separate laws for personal and commercial use of narcotics. SP Singh said El-Mahi may be granted bail on the surety of Rs 75,000 but it will solely depend at the discretion of the court.

In certain cases, the Nepalese courts have pardoned first-time offenders caught with small amounts of illegal drugs if proven to be for personal use, he said.