DUBAI // A 30-year-old man described as the country's most prolific drug trafficker has been arrested, the head of the anti-narcotics department at Dubai Police said yesterday.
The Emirati man was arrested on October 21 after police observed him allegedly collecting large amounts of pills in Ras al Khaimah and then hiding them in different spots in the desert.
Maj Gen Abdul Jalil Mahdi said: "We have had this suspect on our radar for many years, but he is a very cautious trafficker who is difficult to crack down on. But this time was different."
The suspect, AA, was arrested in his home in Nad al Hammar and then was taken with police to dig up the pills. Police confiscated more than 15,000 pills with a street value of Dh153,000.
AA started out as a drug dealer, police allege, but expanded his operation and had several people working for him. Police would not disclose any further details about AA's alleged drug mules, or whether they had been arrested.
AA has had 11 cases filed against him since 2002, but has never been convicted. "In some of the old cases, he paid those who work with him to claim full responsibility," Maj Gen Mahdi said.
"Unfortunately, we were unable to find everything he had hidden, but hopefully we have enough strong evidence to convict him this time."
His activities, according to Dubai Police, were not confined to the UAE but stretched to other Gulf countries.
Police say his main market was allegedly schoolchildren, but he allegedly had clients from different categories of society. "He even enrolled in an adult education class so he could pass the poison on to people more easily," Maj Gen Mahdi said.
The case has been referred to the public prosecution.
In a separate incident in Ras al Khaimah, a tip-off from Abu Dhabi Police led to the arrest of a Bangladeshi man accused of trafficking 96kg of cannabis.
The Abu Dhabi resident allegedly smuggled the drugs across the Gulf in a boat, said RAK Police.
"We received information from AD Police that he had brought drugs into our country and caught him in RAK after a one-week investigation," said Maj Marwan al Mansoori, the head of RAK public relations. "We believe he was planning to sell it in the UAE."
The anti-narcotics department arrested him when he was caught driving in RAK with the cannabis in his car. He confessed during interrogation and said he worked with two other men who live outside the UAE.
The case has been forwarded to public prosecution.
Lt Col Muhammad al Shehhi, the head of the anti-narcotics department at RAK, has advised his unit to take precautions and implement extra monitoring at RAK ports.
He also praised the co-operation between Abu Dhabi and RAK police departments.