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06 June 2023

From Saudi-Karachi-Iran; how UAE seized 11 tonnes of drugs

Colonel Saeed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Anti-Narcotics Federal Directorate General at the Ministry of Interior. (SUPPLIED)


The active and dedicated anti-narcotics team of UAE foiled attempts to smuggle 11 tonnes of drugs into the country in 2013, according to a senior official.

Colonel Saeed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Anti-Narcotics Federal Directorate General at the Ministry of Interior, revealed that a series of achievements accomplished by the ministry in its war against drugs on the local, regional and international levels. The ministry’s efforts led to drug busts and the seizure of more than 11 tonnes of different drugs last year.

Al Suwaidi said: “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.

Al Suwaidi praised the cooperation of anti-drug enforcement forces from the other GCC countries, as well as Pakistan and Iran.

He thanked them for their continued cooperation and fast responses to help uproot this epidemic and overthrow its traders, regardless of their strength and cautiousness.

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 ceiling through the GCC attaché officers who work 24|7 to empower this cooperation and facilitate information exchange and analysis regarding gangs that target the GCC countries.

“These efforts enhance the war on crime, a policy used by the Ministry of Interior to fight crime’s origin before it can spread by monitoring its paths and lines using the controlled delivery method.”


In detail, Colonel Al Suwaidi explained: “We have received information last February that a gang from Pakistan was involved and intended to smuggle around three tonnes of hashish.

“We passed this intelligence to the Pakistani authorities and they managed to seize 3008kg of the drug in Karachi. They also arrested two suspects who were planning to smuggle the hashish in to another country.

“In September, we received another tip saying that a certain amount of hashish was hidden in Karachi. After concentrated efforts made by the counter-drug enforcement forces in Pakistan for several months, Pakistani authorities were able to seize 603kg of hashish, while another 540kg of hashish were seized later.


“In the same context, we have cooperated with counter-drug forces in Iran to stop a boat at the Iranian territorial waters. A group of 4 people were arrested on the boat, which was loaded by 7.2 tonnes of different drugs, including heroin, opium and hashish.  The gang was planning to smuggle the drugs to the GCC and Africa by sea.”

Al Suwaidi added: “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 that 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.”

Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, UAE cooperated with the concerned authorities to arrest an Asian drug mule with 769 grams of heroin that he intended to bring in the KSA last November. “We had similar information on an Asian drug mule who was intending to smuggle heroin to a GCC country. The data was distributed to all the GCC airports and border points. As a result, Qatari authorities arrested him with 105 capsules of Heroin, which weighed more than 1 Kg.”

He said: “If you lose a person close to you because they were lured in to drug abuse by one of those lost people, you would understand our strictness in this regard.

“You will also realise the importance of the awareness programmes that we organize on a regular basis to fortify the society and gain the trust of those who cooperate with us in order to dry the sources of these drugs, and affect both promoters and producers.”

“We shall not forget the support bestowed by the homeland leadership to the concerned authorities to guarantee the security and stability of the society. I would like to present the success of the Anti-Narcotics Federal Directorate General to the local community first, and to the international community as well,” he said.

“This achievement, which was made by the Ministry of Interior, is another great addition to the rich Emirati civilization’s record that befits its excellent reputation internationally.

“We promise you that the General Directorate, together with both government and private forces, along with entities specializing in education and fighting drugs, will remain hanging like a sword over the necks of the criminals and the greedy, in order to stop any crime,” he added.