x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Rescue workers find distillery

A fire in some abandoned houses in Al Musallah revealed a distillery and large quantities of alcohol.

SHARJAH // Rescue workers responding to a fire in some abandoned houses in Al Musallah early yesterday were surprised to discover a distillery and large quantities of alcohol. Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) attended the blaze with firemen to determine whether there had been any foul play. One officer, who declined to be named, said the houses had been vacant for about six months.

They "were also already cut off from electricity and water as the municipality presumed no one was staying in these houses," he said. "However, a group of Asians had turned them into an alcohol warehouse, part of their accommodation and a den of all vices." Because there was no electricity in the area, the occupants had been using wood for cooking. This was likely the cause of the fire, he said. Police seized the alcohol and questioned several residents in the vicinity, some who reported seeing large numbers of young Indian men drinking in the houses at night. Sometimes fights would break out.

"Residents should know that being close to such gangs is dangerous for their safety," the officer added, "as they can do everything from stealing or raping some of their family members." No arrests had been made. Alcohol-related businesses are forbidden in the emirate. @email:ykakande@thenational.ae