x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

New narcotics cause 50% increase in Emirati drug arrests: police

Rise in popularity of four new types of narcotic pills blamed for increase in arrests in first four months of the year.

DUBAI // Drug use among Emiratis has risen significantly this year.

A total of 84 UAE nationals were arrested in the first three months of this year compared with 54 in the same period last year.
Authorities said the main cause of the 55 per cent increase was the rise in popularity of four new types of narcotic pills.

Dubai Police anti-narcotics department declined to identify the pills, but said they hoped to have them added to the controlled drugs list soon.

"For the past three years the narcotics department has called for the addition of new narcotic pills to the controlled drugs list, which falls under article 41 of the narcotics law, so a consumer would face between one and three years upon conviction," said a spokesman.

There were also 77 non-Arab expatriates arrested for drug use in the first quarter, from 76 last year.

But the number of Arab expatriates arrested for drug use rose 123 per cent to 76, compared with 34 last year.

The combined figures reveal a significant rise in the total number of drug cases registered in Dubai, from 160 last year to 238 cases this year.

amustafa@thenational.ae