Recently, a heartbreaking story of a young Mumbai couple surfaced that left many shocked. For any newly married couple, one of the most important vacations is the honeymoon. Though for many of us it is one of the most memorable vacations, for a couple from Mumbai it turned into a living nightmare.
Mohammad Shareeq and his wife Oniba Kauser Shakeel Ahmed were very excited when their relative offered to sponsor their honeymoon to Doha. But, hardly they knew that this would turn their life upside down.
While they were thankful to Shareeq’s paternal aunt Tabassum Riyaz Qureshi for such a grand gesture, she actually used them as drug carriers. Qureshi who sponsored the trip had hidden some 4.1 kg of hashish in their luggage, claiming that it was tobacco that was to be given to a friend in Doha.
But, reality surfaced when the couple was arrested at Hamad International Airport in July 2019 after Qatari authorities recovered 4.1kg hashish from their bag.
The innocent couple was arrested by authorities and despite their pleas, was sentenced to 10 years in jail. But things got even more complicated when Oniba just learned that she was pregnant. Oniba had no choice but to deliver a baby girl in jail last year.
After the couple’s conviction, Oniba’s father Shakeel Ahmed had written to NCB Director General Rakesh Asthana on September 27, 2019. Following this, 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.
The Narcotics 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.
After a lot of struggle, the family’s effort has paid off. Qatar’s highest court overturned the 10-year jail sentence. As the couple reached Mumbai with their daughter yesterday, we are extremely happy that their nightmare is over.
It is heart-breaking what this young couple went through. We hope their struggle is a learning lesson for many others to not carry any parcel without thorough inspection even if it is from your close family or friend. We wish the couple luck for the future and hope they will be blessed with endless happiness and love!