Dubai: Dubai police foiled an alleged attempt to smuggle a shipment of weapons containing 16,000 pistols of different calibers from Turkey to Yemen via Dubai, it was announced on Thursday.
The weapons seized in the operation titled "Al Misbah case" included various models of Turkish-made, brand-faked pistols such as 9mm Walther P99, 6.35mm Tanfoglio GT27, 7.65mm Tanfoglio GT28 and FT7 and 7.65mm Tanfoglio 28, as well as bullet chambers.
Six Arab UAE residents were arrested and charged with smuggling for allegedly clearing and storing the shipment in a warehouse in Dubai from where they were seized, Dubai Police Chief Lieutenant Geneal Dahi Khalfan Tamim, said.
On receiving information about the shipment, investigations were immediately launched leading to the identification of suspects, police said.
A suspect named Irfan owned the arms factory in Turkey, Fa'eq organised the shipment, and Hamid in Yemen was the party to receive the weapons, police said.
Coordination between Dubai Police and authorities in Turkey, Egypt, Yemen and the Gulf country are currently under way to uncover all details of the foiled illegal shipment.
Dubai Police hailed sincere efforts by the General State Security department which led to identification and arrest of suspects and the halt of this shipment which was being sent to Yemen.
Commenting on the operation, Lt Gen Dahi said the seized pistols were small weapons designed for personal use, not army weapons.
"I wonder why in a country that is suffering from poverty people are buying weapons, when they can't afford to buy food," he said.
About the fate of the seized weapons, he said if they were of inferior quality, they would be destroyed, but if they were useable, they would be sold and proceeds donated to orphans or people with special needs.
Lt Gen Dahi confirmed that the ship passed through an Egyptian port on its way to Dubai, but Egyptian authorities said they had no information about it.
He hailed the remarkable performance of Dubai Police personnel who were behind deterring the shipment attempt. "We are proud of the high level of proficiency shown by various divisions under Dubai Police department. This achievement is another vivid example of our unequivocal commitment to uproot crime in all its forms," he said.
"Had these weapons made their way to Yemen, people might say that they came from Dubai," he said, adding that this would not be allowed.
"We shall not allow any criminal elements to use our territories to carry out any illicit plot that poses threat to peace and security of any country. Day after another, Dubai Police directs hurting blows to crime in all shapes, reminding that the United Arab Emirates will always remain a strong fort for law and order," he added.