Dubai Police arrest WhatsApp drugs dealer 'The Bat'

Accused found in possession of 200 kilograms of drugs

Dubai Police have arrested 527 dealers who promoted the sale of drugs on WhatsApp. Photo: Dubai Police.
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Dubai Police have arrested a notorious WhatsApp drugs dealer known as The Bat after a 10-day operation.

The suspect, in his 30s, whose nationality was not disclosed, was found in possession of 200 kilograms of drugs and two vehicles that he used to distribute and store illegal substances.

The force said his arrest came after questioning 527 drug dealers who are in custody for sending unsolicited messages to promote the sale of items such as illegal painkillers, hashish and crystal meth.

“By questioning suspects we were able to identify a man known as ‘The Bat’ among dealers. He is the righthand man of one of the most cunning international drug-trafficking leaders," said Brig Khalid bin Muwaiza, acting director of Dubai Police’s anti-narcotics department.

“One of the cars was found covered in dust in a car park where the man lived. He used it as storage for the drugs.

“His arrest helped us solve several other reports because we discovered the man promoted and sold drugs to other dealers, but never revealed his identity to them.”

Brig Muwaiza said the police's e-crime platform received more than 2,200 reports of illicit messages that were shared on WhatsApp during the first half of this year. These reports led to the arrests and helped to find several hidden stashes of narcotics, he said.

He said criminals typically share GPS co-ordinates with the buyers to lead them to the location of the drugs, which were usually buried in remote areas.

The senior officer urged members of the public to continue reporting illicit messages and told parents to educate their children about the dangers of using drugs.

The police campaign to report illicit WhatsApp messages that promote drugs and recommends blocking senders runs until the end of November under the theme No engagement ... No Reply ... No Repost.

"We spare no effort to fight this crime but there are concerns that people respond to such messages, especially young adults and children, just out of curiosity, and that remains an issue,” Brig Muwaiza said.

“We aim to raise more awareness among parents through this campaign.”

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Updated: October 28, 2022, 12:03 PM