Watch: Inside story of how Dubai Police busted drugs worth Dh3.77 billion

The authority seized 86 million drug pills weighing 13.76 tonnes concealed in 651 doors and 432 home décor panels recently


Sahim Salim

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Published: Mon 25 Sep 2023, 2:34 PM

Last updated: Mon 25 Sep 2023, 10:03 PM

An international criminal gang used the furniture manufacturing skills of some drug traffickers to try and smuggle millions of banned captagon pills into the UAE. However, the Dubai Police foiled their bid with an operation codenamed Storm.

The police seized 86 million drug pills weighing 13.76 tonnes concealed in 651 doors and 432 home décor panels recently.

In a documentary released on Monday, the police revealed the inside story of how their anti-narcotics officers effected one of the largest captagon busts in the world. Operation Storm saw pills worth Dh3.77 billion seized and six suspects arrested.

It all began with a tip-off about five containers containing drugs being transported via a cargo ship. An officer from the department of anti-narcotics said in the documentary that the police raced against the clock to identify these containers, while maintaining the secrecy of their moves.

After the ship docked in Dubai at a port, the police seized the suspicious containers and opened them. Preliminary inspections did not raise any red flags. The police then x-ray scanned the furniture items — each weighing up to 200kg — which revealed “unidentified particles”. A police dog also identified the presence of drugs in the shipment.

Officers then got down to carefully split open the doors and furniture panels to find narcotic pills concealed in hundreds of rows.

The containers were returned to the port to arrest the suspects red-handed. Police officers were stationed at the port 24/7. One suspect was arrested after he applied for the clearance of three of the containers.

Another taskforce followed the trucks being used to transport two of the containers. The police arrested a suspect as he arrived at the site where the containers were taken. Another suspect was arrested from a warehouse in another emirate. The remaining two suspects were held at the port as they came to clear the rest of the containers.

The police had to break open the furniture items panels to extract the drugs — a process that lasted “several days”.

“The operation took a lot of time and effort. However, we believed firmly that God was by our side and in the competence of our officers in serving the country,” said an officer.

Criminals try to smuggle captagon pills by concealing them in different consignments.

The Dubai Customs revealed recently that officers seized 956 bags of pills cleverly concealed within food items.


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