Dubai: Dubai Police have solved a mysterious case of 48 workers who passed out in a Dubai stable last year.
Ebtisam Al Abdoli, director of specialised forensic section at the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology at Dubai Police, said the workers had been drugged.
“We first thought it was food poisoning, but later discovered that a worker had stolen a drug used as a sedative for horses from the stable clinic and put it in a pot of karak tea,” she said during a presentation at the 12th international symposium for best police practices held in Dubai Festival City on Tuesday.
The 48 workers were treated at Rashid Hospital. However, after collecting 112 samples from the workers, police couldn’t find any toxic substance in their bodies.
“It was a rare case and a big mystery for us. The workers, who consumed the tea in the cafeteria, later fell unconscious in different areas of the stable,” she said.
The stable’s doctor said that the drugs were used as a sedative for horses and they are specially delivered from Uruguay. He said a bottle of the drug was stolen three weeks before the incident, but authorities had not been alerted
Meanwhile, Major Adnan Lanjawi from the Forensic Science and Criminology Department at Dubai Police, said samples were collected from the water tank, milk and teapot and then scanned using a device called ‘Dart’.
“The device has a database for all drugs and we found traces of Romifidine and Chlorocresol in the tea samples. We called the stable’s doctor and he said that the drugs were used as a sedative for horses and they are specially delivered from Uruguay. He said a bottle of the drug was stolen three weeks before the incident, but authorities had not been alerted,” Maj Lanjawi said.
When the incident involving the 48 workers was reported to the high command of Dubai Police, they suspected an attempt to murder, not accidental poisoning.
A team of the Criminal Investigation Department was despatched to the scene for further investigation. It emerged that a worker had stolen the drug from the clinic and put some of it in the teapot to take revenge on the workers over some differences.
Police didn’t disclose the exact reason behind the act.
“The drug can’t be used by humans. Dubai Police solved the case within two days despite it being a complicated one and the first of its kind in the UAE,” Maj Lanjawi added.