LONDON: Police in the UAE city of Sharjah seized more than 150 kg of drugs believed to be worth about 63 million UAE dirhams ($17.1 million) in a large-scale raid.
The operation, codenamed “Qabada 7/7,” foiled an international network of 58 suspected drug suppliers and runners operating in the emirate, the force’s anti-narcotics branch announced last week.
Armed officers raided a villa used to manufacture the drugs. They seized 153 kg of illicit substances, including 69 liters of liquid crystal, and arrested the alleged kingpin of the gang.
Police also traced seven bank accounts used for depositing drug money.
The individuals arrested were referred to Sharjah Public Prosecution.
A police statement said drugs were found concealed in trolleys, plastic bags, air-conditioning vents and water dispensers in the villa.
Police were tipped off about the gang and its operations when a man carrying a plastic bag full of drugs was arrested in a Sharjah neighborhood.
The anti-narcotics team tracked additional gang members smuggling the substances into the UAE through airports, dhows and boats.
“The head of the gang had turned a residential villa into a drug-producing laboratory,” a police statement said.
“All members of the gang were then arrested according to plan.”
Maj. Gen. Said Al-Zari Al-Shamsi, commander-in-chief of Sharjah police, said the gang had taken advantage of pandemic restrictions to smuggle drugs into the country.