(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Abu Dhabi Police seized 16kgs of heroin and busted an eight-member international gang of narcotics smugglers, in a joint sting operation between the UAE and Pakistan.
According to the police, the gang made five attempts to smuggle drugs into the UAE but all the efforts were thwarted. The fifth and final attempt ended up with the arrest of the gang members and seizure of the illicit consignment.
Police said the UAE Embassy in Islamabad received a tip off that an attempt was being made to smuggle a huge quantity of heroin into the UAE, targeting the European market. The embassy immediately informed the Pakistani authorities and sought their help to foil the attempt, with the two countries forming a joint team.
Colonel Saeed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of Drugs Control at the Ministry of Interior, said all the relevant agencies of Pakistan were involved in the operation, including Customs Intelligence and the Anti-Narcotics Force. Al Suwaidi further thanked the intelligence forces of Pakistan and said it was their cooperation that led to the failure of the attempts by the gang. One attempt, he added, was foiled at the Dubai International Airport with the seizure of 1kg of heroin and the arrest of the carrier.
He said that in the five attempts the gang made, 15kgs of the narcotics were seized at Pakistani airports and 1kg, in the form of capsules that were ingested by a smuggler, was seized at the Dubai International Airport.
"Pakistani authorities suspected three passengers were carrying the drugs and questioning them resulted in the seizure of 7kgs of heroin. Other gang members were held with drugs at the Peshawar Airport.
In one case at the Peshawar Airport, 6kg of heroin was seized and the carriers arrested, while 2kgs of drugs were seized from other airports with the arrest of three people.
The questioning of the arrested suspects at Islamabad, Peshawar and Dubai airports finally led to the arrest of eight key members of the international narcotics traffickers ring.
"It would not have been possible to foil these attempts if there were not great efforts and cooperation from the Pakistani authorities," said Al Suwaidi.
Lt-General Saif Al Sha'afar, Ministry of Interior Undersecretary, thanked and hailed Pakistani authorities for their intelligence work and efforts in foiling the smuggling bid and dedicated the operation to them calling it "Thanks Pakistan".