Dubai: Information shared by the UAE Ministry of Interior (MOI) with 55 countries led to the arrest of 549 suspects, a global police conference in Dubai was told.
International cooperation where the UAE directly participated in also resulted in the seizure of 380,309 tonnes of narcotics, according to Brig. Eid Mohammed Thani Hareb, Director of the General Department for Anti-Narcotics at the Dubai Police and Chairman of the National Committee for Combatting Drug Trafficking, presented the related global efforts of the Ministry of Interior.
Brig Hareb was speaking at the recently-concluded World Police Summit in Dubai, which brought together experts from around the world from March 7 to 9, 2023.
The UAE shared 4,612 pieces of information with 55 countries from 2018 to 2021, which contributed to the arrest of 549 suspects and the seizure of 380,309 tonnes of narcotics, said Brig. Hareb.
He highlighted results of the country’s anti-narcotics drive, noting an increase in the rate of arrests of drug dealers from 2012 to 2022.
From 2012 to 2016, drug seizures rose 19.5 per cent. This was followed by a 216.7 per cent increase in 2021, and a 29.6 per cent rise in 2022.
As part of international efforts to combat cross-border crime, Dubai Police for its part reported during the summit that they passed on 653 vital security tips to 43 countries — which led to the arrest of 209 international fugitives.
Dr. Expert Major Rashid Al Mansouri, of the Dubai Police General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology, said Wednesday that such cooperation led to the seizure of 12 tonnes and 773 kilograms of drugs with an estimated street value of Dh143.39 million (about $40 million).
The conference sessions sought to promote sharing of best practices, strengthen global policing, and showcasing cutting edge policing techniques. More than 250 companies participated in the 3-day event which was packed with expert-led sessions, headlined by a lineup of 230 speakers covering topics including anti-drugs cooperation, innovative policing techniques, crime prevention, and forensic science, drones and K9.
Brig Hareb reported a decline of 9.7 per cent in the number of drug users from 2012 to 2016, followed by a further drop in 2021 by 32 per cent, and an 8.2 percent drop in 2022.
He also cited a drop in the number of people dying from drug overdoses, he added.
Expert on drug addiction
One of the speakers at the three-day event was Prof. Judith Grizzle, Professor of Psychology at Bucknell University in the US, who specialises in drug addiction.
Grizzle explained why people become addicted to drugs and highlighted the risks posed by addiction, which is characterised by compulsive drug-seeking and drug use despite the negative consequences it may have on a person’s health, relationships, and other aspects of their life.
She said addiction can have a significant impact on a person’s relationships, work, and overall quality of life, and emphasised the importance of comprehensive treatment that addresses the physical, psychological, and social aspects of addiction. This may include medications, behavioural therapies, support groups, and other interventions.