Operation Fridge: Dubai cops foil bid to smuggle 123kg drugs in vegetable container

reporters@khaleejtimes.com Filed on November 21, 2020
The three suspects, who took on the illegal work for Dh12,000, were arrested red-handed, the police said

The crystal meth was stashed at the bottom of a refrigerated shipping container

The Dubai Police have foiled a bid to smuggle 123kg of crystal meth to the UAE in a fruits and vegetables container. The drugs were stashed at the bottom of a refrigerated shipping container arriving from an “Asian country”, the police said.

Codenamed ‘Fridge’, the operation resulted in the arrest of three members of an “organised international criminal gang”. They were arrested red-handed as they tried to retrieve the drugs from the bottom of the container “in preparation for the final delivery”.

“The culprits were acting on the instructions of their leader, who is based in an Asian country,” the police said in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Brigadier Eid Mohammed Thani Hareb, Director of Anti-Narcotics Department, Dubai Police, said they were tipped off about the Asian gang. The case was immediately assigned to a special taskforce.

The officer explained that they coordinated with the Sharjah Police and Sharjah Customs to place the container under surveillance.

Trader unaware of drugs in container

A fruits and vegetable vendor went to the seaport to receive the container. The merchant, who was unaware that the gang had stashed the drugs in his container, unloaded the fresh produce at a market.

“After unloading the container, the merchant placed it in a sandy yard designated for parking and queuing containers. Meanwhile, the undercover anti-narcotics team maintained close surveillance and waited for the gang members to come for their illegal shipment,” Brig. Hareb added.

“One night, three individuals approached the yard and started looking for the container. As they proceeded to unload the drugs, our team took them by surprise and arrested the suspects red-handed and stopped their desperate escape attempt.”

The suspects reportedly confessed that they were acting on instructions given by their leader to unload the drugs and hide them till fresh instructions are issued. “The suspects also confessed that they carried out the operation in exchange for Dh12,000.”

Major-General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, credited the “fruitful cooperation” between anti-narcotics teams of the Dubai Police, Sharjah Police and Sharjah Customs for the successful operation.

“Empowered by the accumulated experience of these teams, we have been able to dismantle the organisation that sought to introduce and promote their toxins into our safe country,” Maj-Gen Al Mansouri said.

Report suspicious activities, residents urged

Brig. Hareb urged residents to report any suspicious activities to the department on 901. “It’s everyone’s duty to report individuals and suspicious activities, especially matters related to drugs.”

He reminded residents about a law that protects drug users from criminal proceedings if they voluntarily surrender themselves to the authorities concerned.


Staff Reporter

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