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Two Indians face gallows in S Arabia

They were awarded capital punishment for smuggling narcotics into kingdom.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 18:19 IST

An Islamic court in Saudi Arabia has awarded capital punishment to two Indians for smuggling narcotics into the kingdom about two-and-a-half years ago, reports reaching from Damam said on Wednesday.

Hamza Aboobacker (48) and Sheikh Mastan (42), hailing from Kerala's Malappuram and Kozhikode districts respectively, were convicted by a Damam Shariat Court for trading in the contraband, the report said.

However, it was not clear whether these were their actual names, as they were in possession of fake passports, the report said.

Aboobacker was arrested by the Saudi narcotic cell at Damam airport on January 4 along with over two kg of heroine intended to be handed over to Abdul Majeed, a native of Bangalore.

Mastan, who was the main conduit in the case, was nabbed on the information provided by Majeed.

The court also convicted Majeed and one Naseeruddin, a native of Kozhikode, to eight and five years of imprisonment respectively for their involvement in the case.

Both the convicts, who had been allowed to go on appeal, would be beheaded after confirmation of their sentence by the Saudi High Court.

Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam, under which people convicted of drug trafficking, murder, rape and armed robbery are executed.