x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

5,000kg of illegal drugs destroyed

Opium, heroin, qhat and hashish among drugs destroyed by prosecutor's office.

DUBAI // Prosecutors destroyed 5,000kg of drugs at the weekend that had been seized as evidence over the past five years.

The operation was carried out in co-operation with the Dubai Police Anti Narcotics Department, with 10 public prosecution officials and anti-narcotics officers present.

"The drugs were destroyed after all criminal proceedings were completed and considered final," said Dubai chief narcotics prosecutor Waleed al Khalafi. "We have destroyed five tonnes of narcotics including opium, heroin, qhat and hashish."

The burning took place at the Dubai Aluminium Company site in Jebel Ali industrial zone after an order by the Public Prosecution's Seizures Commission.

"The drugs were destroyed in aluminium smelters in accordance with safety and environment requirements," said Mr al Khalafi.

The Seizures Commission routinely reviews all items seized, confiscated or found and follows legal procedures to return or destroy the items.

A portion of the drugs was also handed to Dubai Police K9 department for the training of sniffer dogs.

"We are currently co-ordinating with other authorities to execute the disposal of narcotic pills that have been seized," said Mr al Khalafi. "The Seizures Commission will finalise the procedure to execute the order."

According to Dubai Police, 731 drug-related cases were investigated last year, a drop from 1,049 in 2009. Last year, 1,039 suspects were arrested in connection with drug-related offences, compared with 1,483 in 2009.

There were 352 people arrested for drug use and 194 arrested for drug smuggling last year, compared to 437 arrested for drug use and 473 for smuggling in 2009.

amustafa@thenational.ae