Abu Dhabi: In one of the biggest drug hauls in the country, the Abu Dhabi Police have confiscated 423kg of heroin and crystal meth capsules, police said on Wednesday.

The drugs were hidden inside vehicle parts. Police arrested 12 Asians of the drug gang from different parts of the country and recovered the heroin and half-a-million capsules of Captagon.

Colonel Taher Garib Al Daheri, Director of Drug Control Department at the Abu Dhabi Police, said the gang sought to target youth but swift action of security teams thwarted their attempts.

A wellthought out plan was drawn up to bust the network of criminals, who were operating from outside the UAE, he said.

The operation, named “Painful Strike”, was conceived and police painstakingly monitored and followed the drug peddlers’ movements for months. It resulted in a surprise raid, which caught the gang members unawares, Col Al Daheri said.

Police teams with their experience and expertise are able to locate and identify drug peddlers, their new tricks notwithstanding, he added.

This is the second big seizure of drugs hidden in vehicle spare parts in the country.

In May, Dubai Police arrested 16 people and seized 365 kgs of drugs. According to police, the suspects smuggled heroin, hashish and crystal meth, said to be worth Dh280 million, inside vehicle spare parts.

The drugs were recovered during an operation ‘Stalker’ carried out in collaboration with Ajman, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain police, who helped arrest the 16 Asian suspects.