By Ebi Kesiena
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities has seized half a ton of cocaine worth more than $136 million in one of the biggest drug busts in the Gulf country.
According to Dubai Police, officers recently thwarted a smuggling attempt of 500 kilograms of pure cocaine into the country.
“The narcotics, worth more than 500 million dirhams ($136 million) in street value, were well-hidden within the structure of a cargo container,” the Police said.
The UAE, made up of seven emirates, including Dubai, has a zero-tolerance policy toward drug possession.
Police said they foiled the smuggling attempt after receiving a tip about a cargo container carrying the contraband through a seaport.
In the operation dubbed “Scorpion,” a suspect of Middle Eastern origin was arrested. Police described the man as an intermediary for an international drug syndicate.
“Once the shipment arrived, the suspect transported the illegal drugs to another emirate and stored them in a warehouse with the aim of selling and promoting the harmful toxins,” said Eid.
Director of the Anti-Narcotics Department, Mohammed Thani Hareb, in a statement, added that security officers raided the warehouse and caught the man “red-handed.”
Drug smugglers face possible death sentences in the UAE, but in practice, executions are rare.