Police warn public over unsolicited texts promoting drugs

Ras Al Khaimah force call on public support to combat trade in illegal substances

Police in Ras Al Khaimah have urged the public to report any unsolicited text messages offering illegal drugs. AP

Police in Ras Al Khaimah have called on the public to “never hesitate” to alert officers if they receive an unsolicited text message offering them drugs.

The force reminded people of their vital role in helping efforts to combat drug dealers.

Law enforcement authorities across the UAE have sought to stay ahead of drug dealers through high-profile awareness campaigns.

“If you receive a message about drugs from outside the country, please send the sender’s number and a copy of the conversation to the following mobile number: 056 427 1119,” the anti-narcotics department at Ras Al Khaimah Police said.

This month, Dubai Police revealed they had arrested 100 traffickers who contacted the public through a WhatsApp “drug delivery service”.

Criminals sent unsolicited messages to users of the messaging service, promoting the sale of items such as crystal meth, banned painkillers and hashish.

When a purchase was agreed, they would share GPS co-ordinates of the location of the drugs, which were usually buried in the ground in remote areas.

The messages were sent at random from unidentified phone numbers.

Police worked with the UAE’s telecom providers, Etisalat and du, as well as the Roads and Transport Authority and the Central Bank to raise awareness of the WhatsApp drug networks as part of a high-profile initiative run from July 15 to November 1, last year.

Warning alerts were sent to 18 million du and Etisalat users, and the RTA used its extensive transport fleet to help support the fight against drugs.

Dubai Police said 632 people reported messages promoting the sale of drugs to the force's e-crime platform during the initiative.

Updated: March 27, 2022, 12:17 PM