Dubai: An elderly man, receiving Dh2,000 aid from a charity institute in UAE turned out to be the mastermind behind the world’s biggest attempt to smuggle 5.7 tonnes of captagon pills, worth Dh1.8 billion, to the country, a senior Dubai Police official said on Wednesday
The 35 million pills were hidden inside electric cables.
The dog, Pule2, which has worked in the force for seven years, sniffed tens of containers to identify the drug.Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said the 70-year-old Arab man who tried to smuggle 35.3 million pills of the illegal painkillers to Dubai was posing as poor person.
“He was receiving Dh2,000 per month from a charity institute in Sharjah and posing as a poor person. He coordinated with two drivers and another person to smuggle the drugs inside reels of electric cables,” Maj Gen Al Merri said.
Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, commander-In-Chief at Dubai Police, said the operation is the biggest attempt to smuggle the drug anywhere in the world. The Arab man was a partner to his brother who was staying in an Eurasian country.
“The drugs was hidden inside containers coming through Jebel Ali Port. A K9 dog that has been in the force for seven years, identified the drug reels and helped foil the smuggling attempt,” Maj Gen Al Merri added.
The dog, Pule2, sniffed 200 containers coming in from Syria to help identify the drug.
“It was a challenge to search the suspicious containers for ten days before identifying them and monitoring the gang while extracting the containers from the port and keeping them in Sharjah. Drugs were hidden in eight reels of electric cables.”
Major-General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, said the elderly man was checking the place of the reels in Sharjah for 15 days until Dubai Police arrested him and three others on January 28, 2020.
“We took the reels to extract the drugs. Each reel had 500 metres of cables. It took us four days to open the reels and seize the drugs worth Dh1.8 billion in the market. It was a sophisticated operation due to the high level of cooperation between different departments,” Maj Gen al Mansouri said.
Brigadier Eid Mohammad Thani Hareb, director of Anti-Narcotic Department in Dubai Police, said a team of officers put a plan to monitor the cargo and the people who extract the containers from the port after receiving information about the cargo.
“We didn’t have the number of the cargo or date of arrival. It was a huge challenge but we searched 200 containers until the K9 team identified the suspicious containers,” Brig Hareb said.
The biggest operation in the past was in Greece when authorities foiled a bid to smuggle 5.2 tonnes of Captagon.
“Dubai Police will always strike with an iron fist when it comes to drug dealers and gangs who want to disrupt the security and safety of the UAE,” Maj Gen Al Merri said.