DUBAI // Three men were arrested last week on suspicion of attempting to sell 231 capsules of heroin worth Dh120,000, police said.
Officers received a tip that an Afghani man had been bragging about a large purchase of heroin capsules.
The bust was given the code name Operation Fatal Capsule and took place at a hotel in the Naif district.
A Pakistani defendant was arrested along with the Afghani. A second Afghani was arrested in Abu Dhabi.
"We seized 10 heroin capsules from the Pakistani defendant and over Dh42,300 in cash at the time of his arrest, while one of the Afghani defendants had 86 capsules with him during his arrest," said Major General Abdel Jalil Mahdi, director of the anti-narcotics department.
"Investigations showed that [one] Afghani suspect worked as a painter in an Abu Dhabi-based contracting company and was involved with a Pakistani man who has had previous drug convictions," he said.
Investigations showed that the Pakistani man had been deported eight years ago for a drug-related crime.
"The suspect returned to the country with a new passport and worked in a small hotel and resumed peddling drugs, providing the hotel guests with heroin and supplying buyers in other emirates," Maj Gen Mahdi said.
The capsules were brought to the UAE through two drug mules, who were paid US$1,000 (Dh3,700) each. Those people were not in custody, police said.
Police said all the defendants confessed to possession with the intent to supply and consumption.
"The confession obtained from the defendants shows that they have been paying a lot of money to recruit mules who were uneducated about the risks involved," Maj Gen Mahdi said. Police did not release the identities of any of the suspects, who have yet to be formally charged.
Abu Dhabi and Al Ain police also participated in the operation, according to Maj Gen Mahdi. He commended the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain police departments for forming a task force to trace the defendants.
Earlier, chief prosecutor Waleed al Fuqai, of the Dubai narcotics prosecution, said drug prices in the emirate remained high because of the strong police response to the drug trade.