Po­lice fight to stop pills ‘flood­ing’ the re­gion

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS -

The UAE has seen a huge spike in at­tempts to smug­gle drugs into the coun­try, a se­nior law en­force­ment of­fi­cial has said. Lt Colonel Ab­dul Rah­man Al Owais, the Deputy Direc­tor of the Fed­eral Direc­torate of Anti-Nar­cotics at the Min­istry of In­te­rior, was speak­ing at the He­maya In­ter­na­tional Fo­rum on Drug Is­sues yes­ter­day. He said that in 2011, the UAE seized just cap­tagon 2,600 pills. That fig­ure soared to 6 mil­lion in 2013 and then to a stag­ger­ing 33 mil­lion last year. He said: “The GCC has be­come the main tar­get of spe­cialised gangs try­ing to drown the area with cap­tagon.” Be­tween 2013 and 2015, some 169 sus­pects were ar­rested over cap­tagon smug­gling and deal­ing – 49 Emi­ratis and 95 Arabs. Al Owais said the UAE is used as a tran­sit point for other coun­tries. He said the “Syria-Jor­dan-Saudi Ara­bia and UAE route” has emerged as a key smug­gling trend. Al Owais added: “We have no­ticed that mostly young peo­ple con­sume cap­tagon here.” Gen­eral Khamis Mat­tar Al Muzaina, Direc­tor of Dubai Po­lice, said: “This is a big chal­lenge for us as po­lice of­fi­cers. Drugs have be­come a more com­pli­cated prob­lem than ever be­fore. “Am­phetamines and cap­tagon have be­come a se­ri­ous prob­lem and ac­cord­ing to UN, they are sec­ond [in terms of con­sump­tion] af­ter cannabis.”

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