Unlikely scene for a drugs bust: Marsa Alam
 Marsa Alam: Five people caught trying to smuggle three tons of cannabis into Egypt via the Red Sea.

A British pensioner has been sentenced to death for smuggling three tonnes of cannabis into Egypt.

Oxford-educated Charles Raymond Ferndale, aged 74, was sentenced to die along with other members of a drugs gang, who originate from the Seychelles and Pakistan.

The UK Foreign Office said it was working hard to "prevent this execution".

That is because when police stormed the boat containing the suspects and three tonnes of cannabis in the sleepy port town of Marsa Alam, in 2011, Ferndale fled the scene.

More than £3m worth of hash was seized in the raid in the sleepy port town of Marsa Alam, stashed in 118 bags.

Court officials in Red Sea province told the Associated Press that the convicted Briton is a sailor, who was part of an "international gang." Judges also imposed the equivalent of £850,000 fines on the gang.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances.

"Our consular team in Cairo are in contact with the British prisoner and we will do our utmost to prevent this execution."

An appeal can be mounted against the sentence.