x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Operation Death Bags' Dh140m cocaine haul

Dubai police seize more than 90 kilograms of cocaine.

DUBAI // More than 92 kilograms of cocaine, with an estimated street value of Dh140 million, has been seized, police said yesterday.

The operation, dubbed Death Bags, led to what police said was the biggest and most valuable seizure in the region during the past two years.

Dubai Police received intelligence on November 16 regarding a suspicious package delivered to a trade company in an undisclosed place in Dubai.

An investigation team searched the company's premises and found the drugs in an office beside the company's warehouse. The cocaine was contained in four handbags.

Police said that the package came from Brazil by sea and passed through Dubai Customs, but did not disclose through which port it had passed.

"We suspect that the drugs were not aimed to stay in Dubai, but were rather here on transit," said Maj Gen Abed Al Jaleel Al Mahdi, head of the anti-narcotics department at Dubai Police.

"The investigation is still under way to determine those involved. We are co-operating with Brazilian authorities in this regard and hope soon to be able to have more information on the circumstances surrounding these drugs," he said.

The cocaine, which is "very pure", was estimated by police to be worth about Dh50 million wholesale.

"Cocaine is not common in the UAE, and Emiratis do not usually use it. This type of drug is very expensive and its usage is usually confined to a small, rich category of society," Maj Gen Al Mahdi said.

wissa@thenational.ae