Dh115 million worth of drugs was seized in Dubai in early October, said a top police official on Sunday.
Police said 4.6 million Captagon pills, a synthetic amphetamine-type stimulant, were seized in Al Aweer during a police operation in which three Arab suspects were arrested. Police are hunting for two other suspected gang members, also Arabs.
Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Chief of Dubai Police, said on Sunday that the police operation was one of the first of its kind in the country and a major one on the global level, according to the regional office for fighting drugs and crimes in the GCC.
The haul was revealed during a press conference held at the Dubai Police headquarters by Major General Al Mazeina. He said the suspects were arrested in an operation called “Nine Balls” after the place the suspects used to meet in.
He said police received a tip-off that an Arab man who lived in Al Aweer was dealing drugs and was the head of a gang who smuggled drugs in and out of the country.
“A team was formed to arrest the suspects. One of the suspects, A.S., is believed to have the drug which was smuggled to the UAE from neighbouring countries,” he said.
“The other Arab suspect, identified as A.M., is the link between the head of the gang and the other gang members,” he said.
Police are searching for both men.
He added a suspect identified as A.H.T., is unmarried and works as a manager in a company in Sharjah. It is believed he smuggled the drugs into the country via the borders in several trips.
Major General Al Mazeina said that the gang members were planning to smuggle the drugs into a neighbouring Gulf country.
Another suspect, identified as A.A.A., is married and is a businessman in Ras Al Khaimah, while M.A.Z, works as a driver in Sharjah.
“We will coordinate with Interpol in order to extradite the other two gang members,” said Major General Al Mazeina.
He said that A.A.A., told police that he received the drugs from the first suspect three months before their arrest. He said that the drugs were smuggled here in three different cars via three trips from the country’s borders.
The suspect told police that he kept the drugs in his warehouse in Al Aweer and received Dh5,000 for each bag and box he kept.
Major General Al Mazeina said that police seized 14 suitcases, plastic bags and five huge metal cans in which the suspects kept the Captagon.
Two suspects were arrested in their car when they were about to sell some pills to undercover officers in Al Qusais. The other was arrested in a building in Port Saeed.
Major General Al Mazeina said there was no market for Captagon in the UAE as drug addicts here mainly use Tramadol.
He said that police were cooperating with Dubai Customs and other authorities to find out how such drugs were smuggled here.
“Drug dealers are becoming more professional every day and police are always following up the latest methods drug dealers may use.”
He said that the drug dealers were trying to find a market in the UAE for Captagon.
He said Tramadol is a controlled medicine but is available as a painkiller which make it easier to use here, in addition to the fact that some Asian countries are manufacturing Tramadol illegally and selling it cheaply.
He said that police and other authorities are working together to list all kinds of drugs or medicines that may have a negative impact on health to be classified as controlled medicines.
He said the new electronic system to monitor the dispensing of controlled drugs is expected to combat drug abuse.