Dubai: Dubai Police have foiled an attempt to smuggle a shipment of weapons containing 16,000 pistols of different calibres from Turkey to Yemen via Dubai, it was announced on Thursday.
The weapons seized in the operation, called "Al Misbah case," included Turkish-made fake pistols; 9mm Walther P99, 6.35mm Tanfoglio GT27, 7.65mm Tanfoglio GT28 and FT7 and 7.65mm Tanfoglio 28, and bullet chambers.
Six Arab UAE residents were arrested and charged with smuggling and storing the shipment in a warehouse in Dubai from where they were seized, Dubai Police Chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, said.
On receiving information about the shipment, investigations were launched leading to the identification of suspects, including a man named Irfan, owner of an arms factory in Turkey, Fa'eq, who organised the shipment, and Hamid in Yemen who was to collect the weapons. The investigation was a joint operation between Dubai Police and authorities in Turkey, Egypt snd Yemen. Dubai Police hailed the efforts by the General State Security department which led to the arrests and prevented the shipment from reaching its final destination.
Commenting on the operation, Lt Gen Dahi said the seized pistols were small weapons 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.
He added if the guns were of inferior quality they would be destroyed, but if they were useable, they would be sold and money donated to orphans or people with special needs. The estimated cost of the weapons is around Dh16 milion.
Lt Gen Dahi said the ship passed through an Egyptian port on its way to Dubai, but Egyptian authorities had no information about it.
He praised Dubai Police personnel. "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 arms made their way to Yemen, people might have said they came from Dubai," he said.
Fly home to protest
Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai Police Chief, said people who wish to demonstrate regarding issues in their home countries should do so, only in their own countries, not in the UAE. "Why should anyone take a problem in their country and generalise it? Demonstrations are made for public demands in a certain country that should not be transferred to other places," he said. Asked why Dubai police did not give permission for demonstrations, Lt Gen Dahi suggested that people who wish to demonstrate should go to Fly Dubai and buy a Dh200 ticket to their home countries to do so.
"I believe that stability is a sign of maturity, and I think the continuation of demonstrations is not promising, especially that revolutions have no plans and no clear purpose," he said.