x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Police operation prevents gang from smuggling machine parts

Police say they arrested members of a large international gang of thieves who conspired to steal heavy equipment, including lorries and bulldozers, and smuggle them out of the country as spare parts.

SHARJAH // Police say they arrested members of a large international gang of thieves who conspired to steal heavy equipment, including lorries and bulldozers, and smuggle them out of the country as spare parts. Brig Yousef Musa al Naqbi, the head of Sharjah Police Criminal Investigation Department, said officers arrested 15 gang members of Arab and Asian nationalities.

"It has taken us several weeks to make our investigations and monitor the suspects, all in co-ordination with the Ministry of Interior," he said. He said police found several containers of mostly spare parts for heavy machinery that were intended for international shipment through various seaports. The parts came from stolen bulldozers, fork lifts, grass cutters, tractors, excavators and cement mixers.

"We also established that there were several reputable businessmen co-operating with the gang. Many of these business persons owned garages and car workshops where these heavy machinery spare parts were cut," he said. "We are investigating with all the people involved in this big theft." Brig al Naqbi said law enforcement agencies in some of the countries where parts had been shipped are willing to return the containers and help identify and prosecute those co-operating with the gang. He declined to name the countries.

"We want to pass on a warning message to all criminal gangs that they cannot afford to operate in the UAE, as our security bodies are vigilant and keen to identify all sorts of crimes," he said. He said the suspects confessed to their crimes and have been referred to Sharjah Public Prosecution. The police also urged owners of heavy machinery to be vigilant and report any unusual happenings. ykakande@thenational.ae