Dubai Police dog sniffs out Dh1.8bn drug plot led by Sharjah man, 70
Police carried out extensive surveillance to stop millions of Captagon pills from hitting the streets
A crime-fighting canine sniffed out Dh1.8 billion worth of amphetamine - to help Dubai Police bring an international drug ring to justice.
The black labrador, called Pule 2, refused to be thrown off the scent when the gang tried to smuggle more than 5.7 tonnes of Captagon into the Emirates inside large drums used to transport electric cables.
Such was the determined dog's success, the major drugs operation was named in its honour.
Police gave the inside track on the drugs bust at a press conference on Wednesday - revealing the UAE part of a global plot was masterminded by a 70-year-old man from Sharjah.
Officials said he hid behind an apparently impoverished lifestyle, even receiving handouts from a charitable organisation.
“He lived in Sharjah claiming to be unemployed and received Dh2,000 per month as financial aid from a Sharjah charity,” said Maj Gen Abdullah Al Merri, commander of Dubai Police.
“This is one of the biggest drug busts internationally, and the shipment belonged to one of the largest Captagon drug rings in the world.”
Officers were able to track two lorries carrying more than 3.5 million pills as they were driven to Sharjah.
A spokesman said the drugs were intended to be sent on to another Arab country after being cleared by Customs at Jebel Ali Port.
Pule 2, a faithful member of the force for seven years, nosed through 200 containers to find the illicit haul.
Officers at Dubai Police were tipped off about the illegal shipment once it arrived in the emirate from abroad.
They kept watch on the cargo for 15 days before the suspects attempted to move the drugs to Sharjah.
The illegal shipment arrived from Syria’s Latakia port.
On January 28, four suspects, believed to be part of an international drug-smuggling gang, were arrested in Sharjah and Ajman with the help of police in both emirates.
“They are all Arab nationals with three of them from the same country. Their leader inside the UAE was the 70-year-old man, but all of them were directed by a leader based in a Eurasian country,” said Maj Gen Al Merri.
“Our initial investigations revealed that the old man and the leader in the Eurasian country are brothers and partners in the drug smuggling business.”
He said the drugs were concealed inside eight large drums used to transport electric cables.
“Each reel had 500 metres of cables and it took us four days just to open the reels in order to get to the drugs.”
*This story has been amended since publication
Updated: February 26, 2020 07:26 PM