The U.K. government says Prime Minister Gordon Brown is taking a personal interest in the case of a British man who has been sentenced to death on drug trafficking charges in China.

Britain's Foreign Office says the prime minister has repeatedly raised the case of 53-year-old Akmal Shaikh with the Chinese leadership.

The Foreign Office says that Shaikh, a Londoner, was sentenced to death last year after reportedly being caught with almost 9 pounds of heroin in his suitcase by Chinese customs agents at the airport in the far western city of Urumqi.

The Foreign Office says that an appeal has since been turned down and the case is now before the Supreme People's Court for review.