(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Colonel Saeed Al Suwaidi praised the cooperation of anti-drug enforcement forces from the GCC countries, Pakistan and Iran.
The Ministry of Interior's (MoI) efforts against drug trafficking led to over 11 tonnes of different drugs being seized last year. Colonel Saeed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Anti-Narcotics Federal Directorate General at the MoI said the ministry has achieved "a lot in its war against drugs at the local, regional and international levels".
"These huge amounts of drugs are capable, if they were to reach society, of destroying the lives of thousands of people. Were it not for the attention of drug fighting forces, honest citizens and close regional cooperation, these drugs could take people's souls and savings in a disgusting, criminal way," he said.
Al Suwaidi praised the cooperation of anti-drug enforcement forces from the GCC countries, Pakistan and Iran. He added: "We would like to highlight the great efforts made by the GCC Criminal Information Centre to Combat Drugs in Qatar for its role in bringing the GCC counter-drug forces under one roof.
"We received information last February that a gang from Pakistan intended to smuggle around three tonnes of hashish to the country. We passed this intelligence to the Pakistani authorities and they managed to seize 3,008kg of drugs in Karachi. They also arrested two suspects who were planning to smuggle hashish to another country. In September, we received another tip off saying that a certain amount of hashish was hidden in Karachi. After efforts made by the counter-drug enforcement forces in Pakistan for several months, they were able to seize 603kg of hashish while another 540kg was seized later.
"We have also cooperated with counter-drug forces in Iran to stop a boat on the Iranian territorial waters. A group of four people were arrested on the boat, which was loaded with 7.2 tonnes of different drugs, including heroin, opium and hashish," he said.
The gang was planning to smuggle the drugs to GCC and African countries.
"Within the GCC countries, two attempts to smuggle heroin were foiled. In each operation, authorities seized half a kilo of the drug, hidden in capsules. The drug mules were arrested in cooperation with the Directorate General for Combating Drugs and Psychotropic Substances at the Royal Oman Police (ROP). This cooperation took place as a result of the joint fight against drug mules, who swallow capsules to bring and promote drugs in the GCC. Related intelligence was exchanged with the Omani authorities during July and August, leading to the arrest of these two mules.