The arrested drug traffickers. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Police have arrested four individuals for trafficking 600,000 Captagon tablets into the country by concealing them in construction material.

In a statement, the Abu Dhabi Police said the defendants were all Arab, and they had attempted to hide the drugs as they smuggled them into the country.

The suspects were apprehended in a police operation dubbed ‘Poisonous Stones’.

Major General Mohammed Al Rashidi, Director of Criminal Security at Abu Dhabi Police, said the authority implements an integrated strategy to detect, pursue and apprehend drug traffickers, regardless of the ways used for smuggling.

Brigadier Taher Al Dhaheri, Director of the Anti-Narcotics Directorate, explained that the individuals had hidden the pills in stones used for construction. Narcotics officers had, however, managed to see through the ruse.

A video clip shared by Abu Dhabi Police on social media platforms shows narcotics officers breaking down the square-shaped stones to retrieve the beige-coloured pills.

What is Captagon?

Captagon was first manufactured in 1961 as an alternative to amphetamine and methamphetamine and was used at the time to treat narcolepsy and fatigue. Within two decades, the pill was found to be highly addictive and the drug’s manufacturing was officially stopped. It, however, continued to be produced illegally and sources suggest it is one of the most popular recreational drugs used in the Middle East today.

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Report suspicious activities

Brigadier Al Dhaheri called upon residents and visitors to notify the police about any suspicious activities in order to prevent drug abuse, particularly among the youth. He also urged residents to stay safe by not responding to social media messages offering drugs and other illegal substances for sale.