Man 'tried to smuggle cocaine through Dubai airport in baggage'

Police arrested a man who was attempting to hide cocaine spread throughout the clothing in his baggage at Dubai International Airport.

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DUBAI // A man was arrested after attempting to smuggle cocaine powder that had been spread throughout the clothing in his baggage at Dubai International Airport, police said today.

The drug had been spread in the three bags that the man was carrying. Police could not say exactly how much of the drug was in the bags, which weighed a total of more than 56 kilograms, because they were unable to extract the cocaine from the clothing. The smugglers had spread the powder by using a highly complicated technique, according to police.

Investigators had received information that the suspect, identified as M A, 28, from an unnamed Arab country, was coming from Sao Paulo, Brazil, carrying a large amount of drugs that he intended to smuggle to Damascus via the Dubai airport.

He was stopped on June 1 and asked to identify his bags. Police initially discovered that the bags appeared to contain only clothes, but they became suspicious after noticing a smell similar to that of cocaine coming from the bags.

M A was taken to the Dubai Police anti-narcotic department, where he told investigators that he had agreed to transport the three bags in return for US$5,000 (Dh18,444), according to police. He was going to hand the drugs over to someone he did not know after leaving the airport in Syria, police said.

"The success of this operation is due to the strong intelligence which our forces are able to gather and our vigilance," said Maj Gen Abdul Al Jaleel Almahdi, head of the Dubai Police anti-narcotic department.