Six Held in Bootlegging Murder

DUBAI - Dubai Police have arrested six men on charges of bootlegging and beating an alleged competitor to death, a senior police official said on Wednesday.


Amira Agarib

Published: Fri 15 Jan 2010, 12:30 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:28 PM

They are reported to have confessed to both the charges and said that the beating was the result of rivalry in the illicit business of liquor around labour camps in the city.

Investigation began when an Indian worker told the police he had seen a body lying in a pool of blood in Al Barsha. Another Indian worker at the site reported said he had seen the lynching and described the six. The body was sent to forensics and the police referred the six to Dubai Public Prosecution on charges of murder, conspiracy and illegal trading of alcohol.

Major Mohammed Ahli, Director of the Crime Follow-up Section of Dubai Police, said success in fighting the illegal alcohol trade had been achieved.

In the first six months of 2009, around 500 people were arrested in Dubai, compared with 900 in 2008 and 800 in 2007. Ahli said the gangs comprised mainly absconders trying to make a quick buck.

The trade is sustained by the problem of alcohol consumption among labourers, especially in Bur Dubai and near labour camps in Al Qouz and Jebel Ali.

He said fights usually broke out over territorial disputes and often knives were used. In 2009, three were being killed and buried in the sand, a case in which police arrested several. Ahli said the gangs usually hid alcohol in sandy areas near labour camps or beaches, warehouses, houses and even cars. Motorbikes are used for home deliver to trusted clients.

Another police officer said the trade flourished because of on the availability of cheap liquor in other emirates and gangs profited by selling them for more in Dubai. However, he said gangs also had to rent vehicles to obtain and distribute the alcohol. They only made about Dh10 to Dh15 per day. Police, he added, were monitoring gangs, who in the desperately competitive business, would even inform police of other gangs to remove rivals.

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