x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

150,000 Tramadol pills found on ship

Police foil attempt to smuggle 150,000 Tramadol pills in three-month operation.

DUBAI // Police found 150,000 Tramadol pills - with a street value of Dh1.5 million - on a ship returning to Jebel Ali Port from Singapore.

Officers received a tip off that a vessel based at the port that had sailed for Malaysia was carrying a shipment of drugs, the head of the anti-narcotic department, Major General Abdul Al Jaleel Al Mahdi, revealed today.

He said a surveillance team was then formed to investigate the cargo company, which was based in Al Aweer, and the owner of the container.

At the same time, police kept track of the vessel, which reached Malaysia on January 21, before voyaging on to Singapore. After staying in Singapore "for a short while", the ship returned to Jebel Ali, arriving on February 18 with the suspicious container still on-board.

Police then arrested the owner of the container. Officers searched the contents of the container in the presence of the owner and found the pills.

Maj Gen Al Mahdi said the drugs had been bought from an Asian country and that the plan was to smuggle them to Malaysia. However, he suspects the smuggler lost confidence when the drugs arrived in the country and decided to bring the shipment back to Jebel Ali via Singapore.

MM, a 43-year-old from an unnamed Asian country, has been referred to the public prosecution.

wissa@thenational.ae