Abu Dhabi: Five people were referred to court on Wednesday on charges of possessing, using and dealing drugs that include opium.
The defendants, aged 16 to 20, will face trial on Sunday (16 December) before the First Criminal Court in Abu Dhabi.
A Public Prosecution official told Gulf News opium was particularly a threat as it could be manufactured at home from ingredients that are widely available.
There are even websites that explain how to manufacture it. Thus, Public Prosecution ordered that such websites be blocked.
Earlier investigations revealed that one of the suspects, a 20-year-old Asian, was using hashish (commonly known as hash).
When questioned, he confessed to drug abuse adding that he got the drug from the second suspect, a 17-year-old nicknamed Hitler.
Prosecution officials laid a trap for the second suspect and caught him along with the third suspect, a 19-year-old.
They revealed the sources supplying them with the drugs and prosecution managed to catch the remaining suspects, including one that was supplying them through the internet.
The suspects were referred to court, according to the UAE Cabinet decision to add an article that particularly bans the use, possession and dealing of opium. The article, which was issued in May, is an addition to Law No. 14 of 1995 that lists banned drugs.
In terms of its physical and mental effects, the official said opium is believed to be 200 times stronger than marijuana.
It is typically chewed and damages the central nervous system, leading to hallucinations, abnormal behaviour, confusion, continuous laughter, inability to tell distance and in many cases, epilepsy.
Its abuse may also lead to death.