Don’t be fooled, drugs pose threat to UAE, Dubai Police say

The relative safety of life in the UAE should not fool people into thinking that the country is immune to drugs, said a Dubai Police official.

DUBAI // The relative safety of life in the UAE should not fool people into thinking that the country is immune to drugs, said a Dubai Police official.

Col Dr Ibrahim Al Dabal, who is also works with the United Nations, told attendees on the second day of the 12th annual Hemaya International Conference on Drug Issues that there are a number of misconceptions in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

“Some people assume that our countries have a clean atmosphere, and therefore drugs do not pose a threat, however that is not true,” he said. “There is no country in the world that is safe from drugs and no person that may not be vulnerable.

“God keep my family and yours [safe] but even my own son, I cannot guarantee that he won’t do drugs.”

Col Al Dabal also said that there are those who believe once a person has tried drugs one time, they become an addict.

“That is also not true as many people have entered the world of addiction and left it,” he said, adding that studies need to be continuously conducted, as the world is developing fast.

He called for a specific study on drug use in the Arab world, something that is still lacking.

The goal is not just to simply raise awareness about staying away from drugs, said Col Al Dabal, but also to encourage drug users to become productive members of society.

Meanwhile, Col Khaled Hussain Al Sumaiti, of the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology, said that Dubai Police is looking into the profile of drugs.

“This means researching the logo on the drugs if they are tablets, the packaging and the way it was concealed or smuggled,” he said. “We are also looking into the chemical composition of drugs and the percentages of active and non-active ingredients.

“Each drug producer or country has its unique composition, different packaging, different machines to brand the drugs, and this can help drug law enforcement identify the producers, like fingerprints.”

Between August 2014 and August 2016, Dubai Police has dealt with 2,800 drug cases, of which 220 were amphetamine-related.

On Tuesday, Dubai Police also denied reports doing the rounds on social media that there is a sweet containing narcotics being used in Dubai schools.

Col Eid Mohammed Thani Hareb, director of the anti-narcotics department, said that police have received no official reports from schools and that the “pill”, which is being called “quick berry” or “quick strawberry”, is simply a sweet.

“This happens almost every school year, where such messages are sent through WhatsApp, and people, scared for their children, send it to others without checking whether there is any truth to them,” he said.

“We urge parents to contact the anti-narctoics department on 800 400400 if they are unsure of such reports before spreading rumours that may result in panic.”

Dr Fuad Tarbah, of the forensics science and criminology department, confirmed that the sweet in question had absolutely no psychotropic components and has no effect on a person’s central nervous system.

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae

Published: September 27, 2016 04:00 AM

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