Dubai: As part of "Operation Storm", six members of an international drug ring were arrested in connection with the world's biggest Captagon drug bust, involving more than 13 tonnes of Captagon pills worth over Dh3 billion, UAE authorities said on Thursday.
Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, was briefed on the details of “Operation Storm” conducted by the Dubai Police.
The sophisticated “Operation Storm’’ has led to the thwarting the world’s largest Captagon smuggling operation and the arrest of the six members of the international criminal gang.
The drugs were concealed within 651 doors and 432 decorative bars. The drugs were stuffed in five containers.
The operation resulted in the seizure of 86 million Captagon pills weighing 13.763 tonnes valued at Dh3.87 billion.
Lt. Gen Sheikh Saif emphasised that the UAE, under the wise and continuous guidance of its leadership, will continue to be a haven of security and a beacon of safety.
“The UAE stands fully prepared to counteract anyone who attempts to threaten the security and well-being of Emirati society,” he said.
Lt. Gen Sheikh Saif underscored the competence of the UAE relevant authorities to effectively manage and thwart the operations of criminal gangs and drug traffickers, thereby foiling their evil plots.
“This commitment ensures that the UAE remains resilient in the face of criminal members and drug dealers,” he added.
Lt. Gen Sheikh Saif received the detailed brief during a meeting with Dubai Police team led by Lt Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, in the presence of Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior, and other Dubai Police officers.
Dubai Police praised the great support of Lt. Gen Sheikh Saif for his efforts in combating transnational organised crime.
Dubai Police expressed their profound appreciation for the invaluable support provided by Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif and commended his relentless efforts in combatting cross-border organised crime.
The gang attempted to smuggle Captagon pills by concealing them within 651 doors skillfully crafted from thick iron and wood, and inside 432 home decor panels — made from expensive materials such as acrylic glass and wood.
The vigilance of police officers at the Dubai Police Anti-Narcotics Department led to uncovering the malicious technique of concealing the drugs.
They succeeded in tracing the route of the containers carrying the pills and consequently arrested the drug smuggling gang members.
Lt. Get Al Marri lauded the support and guidance of Lt. Gen Sheikh Saif and his directives to combat all forms of cross-border organised crime.
“The 'Operation Storm' stands as one of the most significant achievements of the Dubai Police as it led to the seizure of an enormous quantity of narcotics pills,” said Lt. Gen. Al Marri.
He added this achievement reflects the exceptional dedication and diligence of all members of the Anti-Narcotics Department who tirelessly worked to dismantle the criminal gang's nefarious schemes.
How “Operation Storm” unfolded
The Anti-Narcotics Department received intelligence about suspicious containers on board one of the giant cargo ships that the international gang was seeking to smuggle into another country through the UAE.
The department has developed a well-planned action to check the contents of the containers.
The team placed five containers containing furniture — doors and decorative panels — within the suspected containers from among thousands of containers on the cargo ship.
Then, the containers were inspected in cooperation with strategic partners in Dubai Customs, using X-ray detection devices and police dogs. Results revealed that Captagon pills were stuffed within the doors and decorative panels.
The team was able to identify one of the gang members and closely monitored his movements. He was arrested upon his arrival at the port after requesting to get three containers out of the five.
He told police that he was planning to transport the containers to an industrial area and that there was someone who would receive them from him.
The police team decided to transport the containers to the industrial area according to the plan devised by the criminal gang. The other gang members were arrested upon their arrival at the industrial area.