x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Police smash international drug-smuggling plots

Dubai police say they have discovered four major drug-smuggling operations in the past month.

DUBAI // Four international drug-smuggling operations were halted at the UAE's borders last month, Dubai Police said yesterday.

The operations, conducted in collaboration with international agencies including the Royal Malaysian Police and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, seized more than 16 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, crack and crystal methamphetamine, according to Col Khaled Saleh al Kuwari, deputy director of the Dubai Police anti-drug administration.

"The smuggling operations were transit operations using Dubai as a crossing point between the origin and the end users. The international co-operation yielded positive results and led to the breakdown of the operations," Col al Kuwari said.

In the first case, the anti-drug administration was given information about an African passenger arriving in Dubai from Sao Paolo, Brazil, en route to Angola.

The man was arrested on arrival at Dubai International Airport and found to have 2.8kg of crack cocaine in his luggage. Another 4.3kg of pure cocaine was found hidden in seven purses in his luggage.

The second operation took place in Nairobi, Col al Kuwari said. "Intelligence collected in Dubai led authorities in Nairobi to arrest a woman with a large amount of heroin intended to be smuggled to Malaysia."

She was found with heroin hidden inside more than 20 vials of creams, shampoos and toothpaste, ready to be shipped.

In the third operation, anti-narcotics officers arrested a Nigerian arriving in Dubai from Kano, Nigeria, last month in transit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

He had 4.1kg of crystal meth, and his arrest led to the detention of three African men and an Asian woman in Malaysia.

The final arrest last month also involved an African smuggler arriving from Sao Paolo with more than 3.5kg of cocaine, who was arrested after he was flagged for a search at Dubai International Airport.

"Anti-narcotics officers recovered 2kg of cocaine in one suitcase, wrapped in plastic bags, and 1.5kg in a second bag," the colonel said. Interrogations revealed the man was a paid courier transporting the drugs to Cotonu, Benin.

Col al Kuwari urged everyone in Dubai to co-operate with authorities in combating the drugs trade.

"Please contact the police in the event of suspicion of any matter relating to drugs internally or externally," he said. "We have many mediums of contact, including a free number, 800 400 400, or the duty officers on 050 551 6218," he said.

amustafa@thenationala.ae