x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dubai Police winning war against drug smugglers

More narcotics have been seized so far this year compared with same period last year.

More drugs have been seized by Dubai Police this year than in the same period last year.

The number of cases in the first five months of both years was the same, 407, but more than 363 kilograms have been recovered this year compared with 346 last year.

"Smugglers are inventing new ways to evade police every day," said Maj Gen Abdul Jalil Mahdi, deputy chairman of the Anti-Drugs Higher Committee. "It is a constant ongoing battle between them and us."

An increasingly popular method of trafficking involves using boats, and last month Dubai authorities tracked a speedboat from a neighbouring Asian country until it reached Qatari waters.

They relayed their intelligence to their counterparts in Qatar and three Asians were arrested on May 13 after 26kg of hashish was found on their vessel.

The rest of the stash, believed to be the bulk of the load, was in the water, where the smugglers had hidden it in fishing cages to be picked up later by domestic boats.

Anti-drug officials in Qatar thanked the Ministry of Interior and Dubai Police for their help in foiling the operation.

In a letter of thanks, the chief of Qatar's anti-drugs police commended Maj Gen Mahdi for the "precise and vital intelligence" his team shared.

"Our area of activity is not limited to the UAE or the region, it covers the whole world," said Maj General Mahdi, who is also head of anti-narcotics at Dubai Police,

He said the case was the latest in a series of cooperative international efforts to combat crime.

"We have a hotline with about every nation in the world," Maj Gen Mahdi said. "One phone call, you share the information you have, and that's it.

"If a crime is committed anywhere in the world it is like it is being committed here."

He said that while the authorities were doing everything they could in the fight against drug trafficking, the greatest tool they had was the public.

"We want there to be awareness among the citizens and residents of the UAE. Whether on the streets or at sea, we hope anyone who sees suspicious activity contacts us right away."

 

tsubaihi@thenational.ae

 

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