Sharjah Cracking Down on Crimes

SHARJAH - Last year may have seen a rise in crime rate in Sharjah but with many drug and international car theft gangs busted, Sharjah Police is talking tough.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Mon 9 Feb 2009, 1:35 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:37 AM

Brigadier Humaid Al Hudaidi, Director-General of Sharjah Police, says they will not allow the emirate to become a transit point for smuggling of drugs or a safe haven for their distribution locally.

Speaking to Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview, he said that in 2008, the police managed to bust several gangs trying to smuggle various types of drugs out of the country and also for attempting to distribute it locally.

The arrests included members of a major gang, which tried to smuggle heroin worth Dh 40.2 million into the country. The 202-kg haul is considered the biggest drug bust ever in the region.

“Going by international standards, the local market for any kind of drugs has been low. But, through busting of several drug gangs in 2008, the police have seen that they target youth in UAE,” he said.

“As a part of UAE’s efforts to combat drug trade, Sharjah Police is working closely with the United Nations, Interpol and other federal agencies. The aim is to thwart international traffickers as well as individual smugglers.”

However, statistics show drug crimes have increased 40 per cent in 2008 compared to those recorded in 2007 — 155 drug crimes were recorded in 2008 as against 113 in 2007.

Penalties for Drug Crimes

Brig. Al Hudaidi said the UAE will never tolerate those who use the country as transit point or those who try to expand local market for selling drugs. Based on Federal law no. 14 for the year 1995, drug smugglers face death sentence. Article 49 in the law stipulates that traders, makers or importers of contraband will face jail terms of not less than seven years and not more than 10 years. They will be fined not less than Dh50,000 and more than Dh200,000.

Car Thefts

Al Hudaidi said the Police busted as many as 12 different gangs involved in car theft in 2008. The number of luxury cars stolen from various parts in the country had reached 300. The stolen vehicles were transported out of the country via borders with neighbouring countries.

One of the major car theft gangs busted in Sharjah comprised of Asian and European nationals who operated between Japan and Sharjah. Another gang involving 14 Afghani members had allegedly stolen 60 luxury cars.

He said Anjad Patrols will be increased to provide security services in commercial and industrial areas. These will be intensified on roads that witness congestion due to heavy traffic.

Reckless Bikers

Al Hudaidi had a word of caution for reckless motorcycle riders. He said such riding threatens security on the roads. As many as 143 accidents involving motorcycles were recorded in 2008. Seven people lost their lives in these accidents. “The motocyclists were found to be aged between 16 and 25 years,” he added. Al Hudaidi said police regularly organises ampaigns targeting such youth to make them more aware of road safety. A large number of motorcycles were confiscated during these campaigns and their owners faced penalties ranging from fines to their vehicles being confiscated for six months.

Sharjah Central Jail

Brig. Al Hudaidi said the inmates have been given training to enhance their skills, which they can benefit from when they leave the prison. The current premises will be expanded and new jail will soon be build under instruction of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

Traffic Scenario

Brig Al Hudaidi attributed current traffic problems to the recent re-opening of schools after first term vacation and road diversions due to construction activity. He said the situation will improve after the trucks start using the new road allocated to them in Al Dhaid area. He added that they are making great efforts in solving traffic problems in cooperation with other departments. More than 20 patrol teams are deployed in the morning on roads used by school buses and motorists heading to work.

Drug Cases

  • january 2009: Sharjah Police arrested three people for trying to sell heroin, seized 6.5 kg of heroin
  • january 2008: Sharjah Police seized 600 kg of hashish smuggled into the country in mandarin crates for being exported to a neighbouring country. Two Pakistanis were warrested for the crime following a tip-off
  • march 2008: Three Gulf nationals arrested for smuggling 201Kg of Hashish through the ocean by using a small goods dhow
  • march 2008: In Khor Fakkan three Pakistani and an Iranian arrested for possessing and selling 17 kg of opium; 5 Omanis were arrested for possessing 151 sleeping pills
  • february 2008: 40 heroin capsules — each weighing 524 gram — were discovered in the stomach of a Pakistani national who died after one of the capsules exploded inside his body
  • march 2008: Police arrested a 29-year-old Nigerian and a 35-year-old Pakistani for smuggling 1.5kg of heroin into the country. They had concealed the contraband in the stomach
  • drug crimes in 2008
  • Total drug crimes: 155
  • Drug trafficking: 9
  • Drug sale: 5
  • Consumption: 51
  • Possession: 75
  • Smuggling: 15

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