Time restriction is applied simply to remove "old" results that may not be relevant anymore, and to ensure this question is not made outdated by the passage of time or changes to varies countries laws.

Based on this article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7234786.stm

(Written 2006) Meanwhile, a Swiss national is serving a four-year jail term after three poppy seeds from a bread roll he ate at Heathrow airport were found on his clothes.

With similar cases more recently: https://www.buzzfeed.com/ishmaeldaro/canadian-woman-jailed-abu-dhabi

(Written 2016) Guards searched her bags and found a small amount of marijuana, no more than some "loose flakes," in her backpack, Augustyn's mother Joanne told BuzzFeed News.

Which countries are known publicly, to have charged somebody with a criminal offense for the possession of illicit substances based only on traces of the substance being found - between 2014 and 2019 (last 5 years from the question's post date)?

To be clear, a "trace" here would be an amount of substance that is detectible on a person, but by common sense could not have been used by the person any further. For example, the 3 poppy seeds above or traces of cocaine that are found on bank notes. Finding traces, that lead to a "real" find such as a "useable" quantity of e.g. cocaine would not count here.

Criminal charges in this question means having been charged with committing the crime, whether the case fell through in court or not. The person did not need to be found guilty to apply.

Also the "illegal substances" in question; are anything the country deems to be illegal. The important aspect is that only a trace-amount was found.

Please ensure any given answer has at least one example case given for each country. This question requires substantiated information, as such speculation or gut-feel is not sufficient.

  • 4
    @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas Last time I checked, the calendar did say 2019. Also if someone got arrested in 2017, it would be wise to consider avoiding the same behavior even if it’s 2020. Mar 21, 2019 at 14:35
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it’s too broad and - even if a list could be compiled without onerous research - the fact that a particular country hasn’t historically taken this approach doesn’t necessarily indicate it wouldn’t.
    – Traveller
    Mar 21, 2019 at 15:28
  • 2
    @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas First, thanks for the help improving this question. For the "illegal substances", this was purposefully broad - in that it's any substance the relevant country decided is illegal. The key motivation for this question was not wanting to be caught in a country for traces that I had no knowledge of having - so narrowing it down to specific substances defeats that for me (but I understand why you want it). For "current year" would that be Mar2018-Mar2019?
    – Bilkokuya
    Mar 21, 2019 at 16:59
  • 2
    @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas "Current year is the only useful year": I disagree strongly. Laws and policies can change at any time. The chance that they've changed since any incident is higher for an older incident, but it's pretty low even for an incident five years ago. And it's not zero even for an incident last month.
    – phoog
    Mar 21, 2019 at 16:59
  • 3
    While the question might be a bit broad (there are after all over 200 countries with unique legislation in the world), but still, I think it is a highly relevant question for a travel forum. As the examples shown in his link, anyone, even perfectly innocent people, appear to be able to easily get jailed in Dubai. People therefore need to know what risks they take when traveling somewhere or transferring through somewhere.
    – a20
    Mar 21, 2019 at 20:23


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