Indian couple acquitted in Qatar drug case set to reach Mumbai

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Mumbai, Apr 13 (PTI) An Indian couple whose 10-year jail sentence in a drug case was overturned by Qatar's highest court in January this year will board a flight for Mumbai on Wednesday evening, a Narcotics Control Bureau official said on Tuesday.

Mohammad Shareeq and his wife Oniba Kauser Shakeel Ahmed, who were held with hashish at Qatar airport on July 6, 2019 after landing there for their honeymoon trip, are expected to arrive at Mumbai airport in the early hours of Thursday, he said.

The couple will arrive with their daughter who was born last year in prison in the Middle East nation.

After the couple was convicted, Oniba's father Shakeel Ahmed had written to NCB Director General Rakesh Asthana on September 27, 2019, following which the agency started a probe into the case.

'In his letter, Qureshi had said his daughter and son in law were deceived in the garb of a honeymoon package by a woman named Tabassum Riyaz Qureshi and her associate Nizam Kara. An NCB probe found the couple was trapped by a drug running network infamous as the Kasargod syndicate,' he said.

TheNarcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had then approached authorities in Qatar through diplomatic channels to bring back the couple, said KPS Malhotra, the agency's deputy director.

The evidence collected in India were accepted by the Court of Cassation, Qatar's highest court, after which the two were acquitted.

'The couple is scheduled to take a flight from Doha Airport at 8.35 pm on Wednesday and will reach Mumbai around 2.25 am on Thursday,' he said. PTI DC BNM BNM