Five foreigners sentenced to death for drug smuggling in Egypt

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An Egyptian court sentenced five foreigners to death by hanging on Monday for smuggling drugs, an official said.

British citizen Charles Raymond Ferndale, 74, and three citizens of the Seychelles were held in a cage inside the courtroom in the popular tourist destination of Hurghada on the Red Sea coast as the verdict was read out.

The fifth defendant, a Pakistani, escaped during the arrest and was sentenced in absentia.

The convicted men were arrested in 2011 in possession of three tons of hashish on board a ship off Egypt’s eastern coast, according to the court official.

The British foreign office said it was “extremely concerned” at the sentence.

“We are opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances. Our consular team in Cairo is in contact with the British prisoner and we will do our utmost to prevent this execution,” a spokesman said.

The court also fined the defendants a total of 94 million Egyptian pounds ($13.46 million). The convicted men can appeal the verdict.

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