x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Dh65m worth of heroin hidden in shipping container seized

DUBAI // Police have seized 130 kilograms of heroin worth as much as Dh65 million that had been hidden in a container headed for Pakistan.

The drug seizure, which was the largest so far this year, happened October 9 after police received international intelligence information on a possible drug transfer.

The estimated value of the heroin is Dh10 million in bulk, but the street value is Dh65 million, Dubai Police said today.

Police have called the operation the "confused container" because the route of the packaged heroin, which had Spain listed as a final destination, was changed in Morocco. It was supposed to be returned to its original departure point - Port Qasem in Pakistan. The container went through Nigeria and Oman before it reached Jebel Ali port, where police seized it.

The drugs were found hidden on top of wooden pallets that are used to upload sacks of iron filings.

The container was initially cleared through an x-ray inspection, but police decided to search it by hand because they had received reliable information that it contained drugs.

“The high-level iron filling made it impossible for the x-ray machines to detect the heroin, but we still decided to search it manually,” said Major General Abdul Al Jalil Al Mahdi, the Head of the anti-narcotic department at Dubai Police.

wissa@thenational.ae