x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Two accused of Dh1.6m drug haul

Undercover police operation nets 400,000 pills.

DUBAI // Two men have been accused of trying to sell Dh1.6 million worth of amphetamines. AM, a 23-year-old Dubai resident and EN, a 45-year-old investor, both from Syria, denied the charges in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday. According to the prosecution, the pair were found with 400,000 captagon pills during a police sting. The three-day operation in October last year involved a police informant posing as a potential buyer and an officer acting as his personal driver.

AM met the informant and the officer at a hotel, allegedly to sell the drugs, but the deal's location was then changed and AM unknowingly led the police to a warehouse in Sharjah where the drugs were being stored. A Dubai Police official said he watched the two men load five boxes of the pills into the car before accepting a bag of cash. The pair were then arrested. Prosecutors said the drugs were smuggled into the country by a Syrian man and a Kuwaiti who remain at large.

AM and EN will appear in court again on August 9. In an unrelated case, also in Dubai, a Syrian man dubbed the "The Professional" by police is on trial for smuggling 4.2 million amphetamine pills into the country through Jebel Ali Port and storing them in a warehouse in Al Qusais. Captagon, or fenethylline, gives users feelings of euphoria and increased self-confidence. Some women also use it as a weight-loss supplement.