Dubai Police Arrest Three In $31 Million Drug Haul

By McCarton Ackerman 12/24/13

The offenders face potentially strict prison sentences and harsh treatment due to the United Arab Emirates' zero tolerance drug policy.

Watch those testicles... Photo via Shutterstock

Dubai police have recently completed the most successful drug bust in the city’s history. More than $31 million of amphetamine-like stimulants were seized in an operation called “nine ball,” leading to three arrests so far in the shipment of 4.6 million Captagon pills. Two other members of the drug trafficking crew are still at large, though they reportedly live in neighboring countries.

Dubai Police Commander-in-Chief Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina confirmed that the bust was made by setting up surveillance in a city warehouse. When the three suspects loaded their car with drugs and handed them to undercover police officers, the arrests were immediately made. All three suspects have been charged with drug possession and drug trafficking, while one has also been charged with using drugs after testing positive for amphetamines.

The United Arab Emirates have some of the strictest drug laws in the world. They have adopted a zero tolerance policy and the standard minimum prison sentence for possession is four years. The UAE also has a list of roughly 400 banned medications.

Last February, three British men were reportedly tortured by police after being arrested for possession of synthetic drugs. One of the men, Karl Williams, released a witness statement which detailed his alleged treatment. "Once I had been knocked to the ground, the police picked me up and put me on the bed,” he wrote. “They pulled down my trousers, spread my legs and started to electrocute my testicles. It was unbelievably painful. I was so scared." 

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.