An international crime gang were caught cold by Dubai Police after smuggling a huge haul of drugs from Asia to the UAE inside a refrigerated shipping container.
The offenders stashed 123kg of crystal meth in the bottom of the container designed for the transportation of fruit and vegetables as part of an elaborate ploy to evade detection.
Police set up 'Operation Fridge' after receiving a tip-off about their plans and lay in wait as the carefully-constructed criminal plot unfolded.
A local trader - unaware drugs were hidden inside - had collected and unloaded his shipment of fruit and vegetables at his market before placing what he believed to be an empty container in a sandy yard for parking and queuing containers.
Undercover officers kept the area under surveillance, awaiting the arrival of some of the gang members to collect the illicit shipment.
“One night, three individuals approached the yard and started looking for the refrigerated container,” said Brig Eid Mohammed Thani Hareb, director of the anti-narcotics department at Dubai Police.
“As they proceeded to unload the drugs, our team took them by surprise and arrested the suspects red-handed and foiled their desperate escape attempt."
Dubai Police worked in tandem with Sharjah Police and Sharjah Customs to thwart the attempt to flood the country with drugs.
Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, commander-in-chief of Dubai Police, said authorities would leave no stone unturned in their efforts to root out criminal activity.
During questioning, the three men said they were instructed by the gang leader, who lives in an Asian country not specified by police, to take possession of the drugs in return for a Dh12,000 payment.
Brig Hareb urged members of the public to report suspicious activities to police by calling 901.
“It’s everyone’s duty to report individuals and suspicious. activities that pose harm to our society. Especially drugs related matters,” he said.