UAE sees spike in liquid cocaine smuggling

The UAE has identified a new trend of trafficking drugs in the form of liquid cocaine

  
Image for illustrative purpose. An anti-narcotics policeman examines a pack of confiscated cocaine in Colombia. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

Image for illustrative purpose. An anti-narcotics policeman examines a pack of confiscated cocaine in Colombia. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

REUTERS/John Vizcaino

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dubai: The UAE has identified a new trend of trafficking drugs in the form of liquid cocaine, an Interpol report published on Tuesday said.

In a statement, the Interpol Global Complex in Singapore, which coordinated an international anti-drug campaign in May, said: “During the first week of the operation, authorities in the UAE identified an increasing trend of liquid cocaine being trafficked.”

“Smugglers would swallow condoms packed with liquid cocaine but unlike other drugs, this type of concealment is harder to detect by traditional X-ray or computed tomography imagery,” said Interpol said in a media release on its website on Tuesday.

After identifying the latest trend, the UAE authorities requested an Interpol Purple Notice be issued to all 190 member countries outlining this modus operandi and methods for detection. A comment from UAE officials was not immediately available.

According to the report, a large number of the arrests made during the anti-drug operation helped authorities identify a cocaine trafficking route via Ethiopia to destinations in the Middle East, Asia and Pacific.

During the two-week operation, authorities made 59 seizures and nearly a quarter were methamphetamine weighing as much as 121kg — of which nearly 80 per cent was in the form of crystalline, known as ‘ice’.

In total, the Interpol-led campaign resulted in the seizure of 350kg, 50 litres and 2,175 tablets of illicit drugs including cocaine, cannabis, heroin and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) worth an estimated $18 million (Dh66 million).

by Mariam M. Al Serkal Senior Web Reporter

Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.

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