Drug seizures rise in UAE

Some of the narcotic pills seized by the officials in Abu Dhabi. — Supplied photo
Some of the narcotic pills seized by the officials in Abu Dhabi. - Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi - 3 million narcotic pills that were hidden inside plastic baby-swing boards on board a ship seized.



By Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Thu 26 Jul 2018, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 27 Jul 2018, 12:55 AM

Thousands of people have been arrested in the UAE for smuggling and possessing drugs over the past two years, according to authorities.
In a video-clip broadcast recently by the Federal Directorate General of Anti-Narcotics at the Ministry of Interior, as part of efforts to combat drugs in the country, officials said that 6,440 people were caught in 4,454 drug-related cases across the country during 2017. The anti-narcotic officers had arrested 5,130 suspects in 3,774 drug cases in 2016. 
The officers said they had seized 61,525kg of narcotics and psychotropic substances from the dealers last year, compared to 9,640kg of drugs in 2016.
In one of the biggest drug seizures in 2017, authorities seized 3 million narcotic pills that were being hidden inside plastic baby-swing boards on board a ship. The men had planned to smuggle the drugs in through one of the UAE ports.
In another operation last year, the federal authorities, in cooperation with the Directorate of Drug Control in Saudi Arabia, managed to seize two million captagon pills, which had been smuggled in to Umm Al Quwain. The drugs were found hidden in a 4x4 vehicle. Four GCC nationals, who were planning to smuggle the drugs into Saudi Arabia, were arrested.
In another joint operation with its Jordanian counterparts in May, the department managed to seize 150,000 captagon pills from Abu Dhabi. Two GCC nationals were arrested in connection with this.
The following week, the federal anti-narcotics department, in coordination with the Abu Dhabi Police, arrested another Arab national with 424,200 captagon pills. The man was found selling some of the drugs to an Abu Dhabi resident while the rest of the drugs were found in his house.
Also in 2017, the Sharjah Police busted two drug trafficking gangs in separate operations and seized 300kg of hashish worth Dh2 million and more than one million captagon pills worth Dh44 million. During the operations titled 'The Darkness Gang' and 'Suitcases of Death', the police also managed to arrest an Asian man and two Arab nationals.
In an incident in Al Ain, 6,800 pills of drugs were seized from two persons who were caught after authorities received a notification from a GCC national that they dealt drugs.
The anti-narcotics officers also foiled an attempt to smuggle two shipments of heroin, weighing more than 8kg through Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The officials said that the successive drug seizures reflect the ministry's ability to achieve goals of security system at the federal level.
It also reflects the ministry's efforts in maintaining the nation's resources and protecting its youth from being dragged into the mess of addiction, which is a scourge that puts the lives of people at risk and threatens the cohesion of society.
According to authorities, the Anti-Narcotics department monitors activities of drug smugglers based on secret information and legal action is taken to trap the accused.

Major seizures of 2017

>3 million narcotic pills that were hidden inside plastic baby-swing boards on board a ship seized
>2 million captagon pills, which had been smuggled in to Umm Al Quwain, were found hidden in a 4x4 vehicle
>In a joint operation with Jordanian authorities in May, 150,000 captagon pills were sized from Abu Dhabi
>An Arab national was arrested  with 424,200 captagon pills in Abu Dhabi
>The Sharjah Police busted two drug trafficking gangs in separate operations and seized 300kg of hashish worth Dh2 million and more than one million captagon pills worth Dh44 million
>An attempt to smuggle two shipments of heroin, weighing more than 8kg, through Abu Dhabi International Airport was foiled
ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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