Police warn of dangers of using banned pesticides after Dubai tenant dies
DUBAI // A tenant who sprayed his apartment with a banned pesticide has been charged with manslaughter after the fumes killed a neighbour and injured four others.
Maj Gen Khalil Al Mansouri, criminal investigation assistant for Dubai Police, told Al Ittihad, the Arabic-language sister newspaper of The National, that three other men of Asian origin who supplied the chemicals had also been charged with causing accidental death.
Maj Gen Al Mansouri said that on July 29, officers attended an apartment block after reports of the death of a tenant. Police at first thought that the victim, who was also of Asian origin, had died of food poisoning.
But they found a strong smell coming though the floor and invited specialists from Dubai Municipality to investigate. The fumes were traced to an apartment on the floor below, so police arrested the tenant.
They also found four other neighbours who had been injured by the toxic fumes.
Prosecutors said that the tenant had admitted administering the pesticide just before he was about to return to his home country. He said he had bought the chemicals from a man who was working as a pest exterminator, without a licence.
When the latter was arrested, police found he was in possession of large amounts of banned chemicals.
He in turn led police to two other men, who were also allegedly in possession of illegal chemicals.
A fifth suspect had left the UAE before police could arrest him.
Maj Gen Al Mansouri said that aluminium phosphate, known as “bomb”, was thought to have caused the death of the tenant.
He said that other banned industrial insecticides were also seized from the other suspects.
Maj Gen Khamis Al Mazeina, chief of Dubai Police, warned of the dangers of using unlicensed pest exterminators and banned substances.
He said in recent years such pesticides had killed several people in buildings with central air conditioners.
Updated: August 10, 2014 04:00 AM