Dubai, 08, August, 2017: The  Fit Food Kitchen  restaurant at the Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai. ( Satish Kumar /  For The National ) Story by Nick Webster
Koder Jomaa, 47, owns The Fit Kitchen restaurant in Jumeirah Lake Towers. Satish Kumar / For The National

Dubai restaurant owner 'head of drugs gang', says Australian police

The owner of a healthy-eating restaurant in Dubai has been named by Australian police as the head of a gang accused of trying to smuggle 1.8 tonnes of drugs.

Koder Jomaa, 47, was arrested late Monday night along with four other men believed to be involved, as part of an international operation across three countries.

Australian Jomaa owns The Fit Kitchen restaurant in Jumeirah Lake Towers and is said to be a regular gym-goer in nearby Almas Tower.

“We allege this man was actually the head of the syndicate. He is well-known to law enforcement and previously thought that he could flee from authorities and conduct his criminal enterprise offshore,” Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Neil Gaughan said.

The Jomaa family in Sydney are alleged to have been involved in drug crime for years, according to police there, and two of his brothers, Ali and Abbas, were among those arrested in coordinated raids in Sydney.

Staff at The Fit Kitchen were unaware of his arrest or alleged criminal connections this week.

The haul of MDMA, cocaine and crystal meth seized by authorities in the Netherlands as part of Operation Veyda was said to have a street value of AUS$810 million (Dh2.4 billion).

Read more:  Aussie 'drug gang' accused face months-long wait over extradition outcome

Gender equality in the workplace still 200 years away

It will take centuries to achieve gender parity in workplaces around the globe, according to a December report from the World Economic Forum.

The WEF study said there had been some improvements in wage equality in 2018 compared to 2017, when the global gender gap widened for the first time in a decade.

But it warned that these were offset by declining representation of women in politics, coupled with greater inequality in their access to health and education.

At current rates, the global gender gap across a range of areas will not close for another 108 years, while it is expected to take 202 years to close the workplace gap, WEF found.

The Geneva-based organisation's annual report tracked disparities between the sexes in 149 countries across four areas: education, health, economic opportunity and political empowerment.

After years of advances in education, health and political representation, women registered setbacks in all three areas this year, WEF said.

Only in the area of economic opportunity did the gender gap narrow somewhat, although there is not much to celebrate, with the global wage gap narrowing to nearly 51 per cent.

And the number of women in leadership roles has risen to 34 per cent globally, WEF said.

At the same time, the report showed there are now proportionately fewer women than men participating in the workforce, suggesting that automation is having a disproportionate impact on jobs traditionally performed by women.

And women are significantly under-represented in growing areas of employment that require science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills, WEF said.

* Agence France Presse

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