Dubai Police blocks 118 websites for promoting illegal drugs
Dubai - 18 sites have been blocked since the beginning of this year.
The Dubai Police's anti-narcotic department has blocked 118 websites for promoting illegal drugs and has introduced advanced techniques to fight drug trade, a senior officer has said.
Colonel Eid Mohammed Thani Hareb, director of the department, revealed that the number of drug dealers arrested has doubled during the last year, thanks to the modern techniques and equipment introduced by the Dubai Police, he added. "The demand for drugs will increase the supply, and thus we are trying to reduce the demand by intensifying public awareness. The number of drug traffickers arrested in Dubai increased by 100 per cent last year with 199 arrests compared to 99 in 2016. This confirms the vigilant work of the anti-narcotics authorities. However, this is also an indicator towards the increase in demand, which necessitates diversification of the means of awareness and the use of artificial intelligence."
He stated that the anti-narcotic department, through its electronic patrols, blocked 18 websites used for drug peddling during the current year while 60 sites were blocked in 2017 and 40 in 2016.
He added that there is a designed process for promotion and circulation of drugs on the Internet. The department has also detected financial transfers to drug dealers, which has contributed to the arrest of a drug trafficker in another country, after confirmation of his involvement in promoting drugs online.
He pointed out that promotion of drugs through social media is a big challenge for the anti-narcotic authorities due to the difficulty of tracking the accounts used by the perpetrators. "The authorities are currently working on finding solutions to this challenge," he added.
Hareb said that many families benefited from Article 43 of the Federal Drug Law, which exempts persons from jail and legal proceedings if drug addicts present themselves or by the family to a rehabilitation clinic. He said the police are keen to guide the drug users to the right path and refer them to specialised clinics and rehabilitation centres.
The department has coordinated with the Ministry of Health and Prevention to curb the sale of restricted drugs with fake prescriptions through electronic linkage of prescriptions with the disbursement of medicines.
According to statistics, methamphetamine or "crystal meth" is among the most common drugs used in the UAE. Some gangs changed the identity of drugs to circumvent the law, such as a gang in an Arab country that changed the composition of Spice and promoted it in a different name.
Col Hareb noted that the recent arrest of a 14-year-old student revealed the seriousness of the problem. "When one of his classmates complained of headache, this boy gave him a tramadol. This was reported to the school administration, which informed the police. Later, it was found that the mother of the student, who gave him the drug, is a doctor and she used tramadol for treatment. She left the treatment box in front of her children and the boy decided to try it for curiosity. Later, he became addicted."