|26 February, 2020

5.6 tonnes of drugs seized by Dubai Police

The gang, spearheaded by a 70-year-old Arab based in Sharjah, attempted to smuggle the pills through a shipment of electricity cables from Syria to Jebel Ali

DUBAI - The Dubai Police have revealed how a highly-trained dog helped them bust a bid to smuggle drug pills with a street value of AED1.8 billion. A special operation named after a man's best friend 'Pule' helped seize 5.6 tonnes of Captagon pills.

Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police, revealed the details of the operation, which targeted one of the largest drug smuggling syndicates in the country under the close follow-up of H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

Al Marri thanked the UAE’s leadership for enabling security authorities in performing their duties to maintain the country’s security and safety, stressing that the Dubai Police are ready to control all types of drugs and capture perpetrators.

The gang, spearheaded by a 70-year-old Arab based in Sharjah, attempted to smuggle the pills through a shipment of electricity cables from Syria to Jebel Ali. The shipment was to be re-exported to another Arab country, investigations showed.

The suspect used to receive financial aid from a charity organisation after claiming to be unemployed, the police said.

Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, Maj-Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri said 'operation Pule 2' involved officers searching and investigating over 200 containers to detect the drugs. Within 10 days, the well-trained dog Pule sniffed out the entire illegal consignment.

The police's anti-narcotics division then monitored trucks used to transport the cables with the drugs to Sharjah and Ajman. The 15-day surveillance led the police to the four Arab smugglers - the 70-year-old, his assistant and two truck drivers - who were caught red-handed on January 28 this year.

Further investigations revealed the smuggling bid was made in partnership with the 70-year-old suspect's brother, who is based in a "Eurasian country".

The police said Pule has previously helped the police bust three other drug smuggling bids. The drug used to be prescribed to treat narcolepsy and depression, but the medical community determined that Captagon's addictive properties outweighed its clinical benefits in 1980.

He added that the operation successfully intercepted suspected containers after authorities received information that they were coming from the Port of Latakia in Syria, noting that the relevant team investigated over 200 containers for a period of ten days until they found the suspected ones.

On 28th January, 2020, members of the involved criminal gang were arrested in Sharjah and Ajman, in coordination with relevant local authorities, he further added.

The four arrested suspects were from Arab nationalities, with three being from the same country. The leader of the gang is 70 years old, resides in Sharjah, and claims to be unemployed. Two others are trucks drivers while the fourth is from another Arab country.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.