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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Dubai Police: Australian drug gang showed no resistance when taken into custody

The operation was part of an alleged plot to smuggle 1.8 tonnes of drugs into Australia.

Dubai Police arrested five men who attempted to smuggle cocaine and crystal meth into Australia. Wam.
Dubai Police arrested five men who attempted to smuggle cocaine and crystal meth into Australia. Wam.

DUBAI // Five men who were arrested last week in a joint sting operation between international law enforcement and Dubai Police showed no resistance when taken into custody, said a police official.

The operation was part of an alleged plot to smuggle 1.8 tonnes of drugs into Australia, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The newspaper reported Commander in Chief of Dubai Police Major General Abdulla Al Marri saying that the men were arrested in two separate raids at 10pm and 1am last Monday at the plush JLT complex and hot-spot Marina in Dubai. “They did not try to resist their capture when they were arrested,” he said.

He confirmed that the arrested include brothers Fadi and Michael Ibrahim, Mustapha Dib, Stephen Elmir and Koder Jomaa, all Australian nationals.

Maj Gen Al Marri said that Australian, UAE and Dutch authorities agreed on a “zero hour” during a meeting in Dubai weeks prior to the arrests, adding that they had at least three meetings a week prior to the zero hour. He also said the arrests were filmed but all footage would be given to the Australian authorities.

All suspects will be handed over to the Australian Federal Police in order to face judicial processes in Australia, as per the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotics, he added.

“This is an Australian case," he said. "Our responsibility was just to get them to the court here and then handed to the Australian authorities."

He said that up to 70 of anti-narcotics officers in Dubai have worked on the case since it began at the end of last year and that the men, now in custody, had been under extensive surveillance during the course of the operation in Dubai.

They had allegedly plotted to ship $810 million (Dh2.4 billion) worth of cocaine and crystal meth to Australia via The Netherlands.

"The UAE has great intolerance towards drug dealers and smugglers who aim to make money in the most illegal ways," Maj Gen Al Marri said. "We vow to exert all possible efforts and work with our partners to fight and prevent drugs around the world."

Although it was not clear how long the men's extradition process would take, lawyer Yousuf Al Bahar said that the procedure could take two to three months of investigations to see if any charges needed to be brought here. If not, a court judgment would allow an immediate extradition.

salamir@thenational.ae