x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Police sting nets UAE's biggest opium haul 'in a decade'

Three people have been arrested in connection with the haul, which was valued at Dh2.5 million and intended for sale in the UAE and around the region.

DUBAI // Police have seized 51 kilograms of opium worth Dh2.5 million in what they describe as the biggest seizure of the drug in the UAE in a decade.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the drugs, which officers said were intended to be sold in the UAE and around the region.

Police seized the drugs and arrested the two main suspects in a sting operation on March 24.

Major General Abdul al Jaleel al Mahdi, head of the anti-narcotic department, said officers began investigating the case after

receiving reliable information the suspects were looking to sell a large amount of opium.

"We made a team of undercover officers. They met with the two men at a shopping mall on March 23 to decide on the price and time for delivery," he said.

Police agreed to meet the two suspects, identified as H B, 39 from Pakistan, and, A M, 43 from Somalia, near the bowling

centre in al Mamzar the next day.

The area was put under surveillance and after the two suspects delivered the drugs and received money in the undercover officers' car, they were surrounded by police.

"The two suspects tried to run from the scene but police caught them after a small struggle," said Maj Gen al Mahdi.

Two police officer were slightly injured in the operation but no weapons were used.

The drugs were smuggled into the country from the sea with the help of a third suspect, identified as WM, 41, also from Pakistan.

He was arrested on his boat in Sharjah after the other suspects gave him away during interrogation.

The case has been referred to the public prosecution.