52kg of heroin hidden in fruit shipment seized in Dubai

gulf news
Four people arrested for smuggling 52kg of heroin hidden in fruit shipment
  • By Dina Aboul Hosn, Staff Reporter
Dubai:   The police Anti-Narcotics Department early this month busted a gang involved in an attempt to smuggle 52kg of pure heroin from the fruits and vegetables market in Al Aweer, it was announced yesterday.
Four men, all Pakistanis, were arrested in what police tagged as the biggest heroin operation and one of the biggest drug busts in two years.
The gang’s mastermind – a woman in her mid-50s and a male cohort – remain at large and were reported to be out of the country.
Major-General Abdul Jalil Mahdi, Director of the General Department for Anti-Narcotics at Dubai Police, said the police Central Operations Section has been monitoring the gang after receiving intelligence information about their operation.
“This is a 100 per cent national operation, as no tip was received from a foreign source and our team members were the ones who reached the information and monitored the gang’s activities to catch them red-handed,” he said.
Police initially received an intelligence information on the activities of a Pakistani identified only as J.Z.A., who was reported to be taking part in the drug smuggling operation.
The information revealed that the plan was to conceal the heroin in a 2,600 box shipment of oranges from Pakistan. The contraband will then be transhipped to an African country by a Nigerian man.
A police team was despatched to pounce on the suspects who were at the fruits and vegetables market at around 6.30pm on April 5. They were to bring the boxes out of the market’s storage area.
The police pounced on the suspects just as they were about to finish loading the boxes into a truck.
The contraband were found packed in 657 bags that were hidden between layers of cardboard.
According to the police, one of the suspects, J.Z.A., admitted that their female leader told him to deliver the contraband to a Nigerian man.
The female mastermind was a customer of one of those arrested, A.S.F., who works as a tailor.
Major-General Mahdi said the woman has been doing business with A.S.F. for many years. After finding him to be trustworthy, she allegedly asked him to take part in her drug smuggling operation.
“We have addressed the authorities in Pakistan to arrest the woman, and are following up with police bodies to arrest the other suspect,” Mahdi said.