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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Three men 'smuggle 255kg of crystal meth into the UAE'

Massive drug haul discovered in ship on arrival in UAE, court hears

Three men attempted to smuggle more than 200kg of crystal methamphetamine on a ship heading to the UAE, Dubai Criminal Court heard.

Dubai Police’s drug control team received information from National Security that the huge haul of drugs was being stashed on a ship coming from Basra city in Iraq towards Sharjah on January 16.

“We were told that the ship is expected to arrive the following day and is carrying heavy machinery, inside which there may be some drugs hidden,” said an anti-narcotics department lieutenant, 24.

He said the ship arrived the following morning and a team of inspectors and investigators carried out a search before the machinery on board of the ship was taken out to undergo an X-ray test.

A total of 255.9kg of crystal meth was found in small plastic bags stashed inside the machinery parts, he said.

He added that when they questioned the 58-year-old Iraqi man, who arrived to receive the contents of the ship, he told them that the contents belonged to his countryman, whose details and contact numbers he provided to police.

“We tracked him down and arrested him as he was trying to flee the country. He admitted his involvement but denied that he owned the drugs. He said it's for another man who had been paying him around Dh2,000 for each time he received shipments on his behalf,” said the officer.

The 33-year-old accused provided police with the third defendant’s details. “He was staying in a hotel in Ajman, we arrested him on January 18,” said the lieutenant.

The officer said police found a second drug shipment hidden in Sharjah from two weeks earlier.

All three Iraqi defendants, 33, 58, and 50 were charged with smuggling drugs to sell, which they denied in court.

The next hearing is scheduled for June 24.