VIDEO: Dubai Police nab two Australian drug kingpins, help bust crime syndicate
09 Jul 2020
The second suspect approaching his car in Dubai.
In an official statement addressed to the Dubai Police, Reece Kershaw, Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), lauded the successful and important cooperation between the two organisations that has led to the arrest of two Australians labelled the kingpins of a major drug importation operation that brought nearly three tonnes of drugs with an estimated potential street value of more than $150 million into Australia.
Commissioner Kershaw thanked Dubai Police for their help in tracking and apprehending Benjamin Neil Pitt and Matthew John in Dubai. "The Australian Federal Police, together with the New South Wales Police Force would like to thank the Dubai Police, specifically the Criminal Investigation Department and the Wanted Persons team, for their tireless work in investigating and apprehending these wanted criminals," he said.
He confirmed the arrest of the Australian duo in Dubai was a result of the long-established partnership between the two police agencies. "The AFP and Dubai Police have been close and trusted law enforcement partners for many years, [and] the AFP greatly values the leadership and commitment that Dubai Police demonstrate in the global fight against organised crime," he said.
Dubai Police patrol following the car of the first suspect.
Commissioner Kershaw further noted that the AFP and Dubai Police maintain active channels of communication to discuss new ways of policing and to jointly combat transnational organised crime groups impacting upon Australia and the United Arab Emirates. "The AFP and the Dubai Police are staying shoulder-to-shoulder, and are unified in their approach to combating these transnational crime syndicates operating in Australia and the United Arab Emirates, and we will continue to work closely together to dismantle these syndicates and bring offenders to justice," he added.
Lt General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police, said the operation was another achievement to the fruitful cooperation between the two agencies since Operation Veyda when Dubai Police joined the AFP and other international law enforcement agencies in dismantling two international organised crime syndicates and the arrest of 17 suspects in Sydney, Dubai and Europe, and seizing more than two tonnes of illegal drugs with an estimated street value of Dh2.3 billion.
Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Dubai Police Commander-in-Chief.
Lt General Al Marri attributed the operation's success to the continuous support and wise leadership of Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, who has always directed the UAE's forces to maintain strong, active, and vital communication channels with the world's police agencies, and Interpol to tackle transnational organised crime.
The Commander-in-chief of Dubai Police also praised the tremendous efforts made by the force's teams who arrested the suspects and contributed to the world's safety and security.
Speaking on the international cooperation, Major General Expert Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police for Criminal Investigation Affairs, said after exchanging information with the Australian authorities on some gangs, especially on those involved in serious crimes such as drug trafficking, Dubai Police formed a task force to track down the Australian duo in the emirate with the aid of the Criminal Data Analysis Centre at Dubai Police.
Reece Kershaw, Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police.
"Seven days after receiving the Interpol's Red Notice, we located the defendants' whereabouts and a task force of officers and members of the Most Wanted Department arrested the men on charges of smuggling large quantities of drugs, the use of the proceeds of crime, and illegal trafficking of prescription drugs. They were transferred to the competent authorities for further legal action," Al Mansouri said.
According to Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf, director of the General Department for Criminal Investigation (CID) at Dubai Police, the suspects had made plans to leave Dubai when the force took them down in two synchronised raids at their residences.
"We coordinated and exchanged available information with our Australian counterparts, and set a zero hour for the raids after the issuance of Interpol Red Notices against the pair," Al Jallaf confirmed.
It's worth noting that international and Australian media outlets have praised the UAE for their contribution to the success of the operation that came as a result of the extensive seven-year investigation into the transitional organised crime syndicate.
Operating under the Ministry of Interior's umbrella, the Dubai Police have maintained active coordination with international law enforcement agencies, and assisted in the arrest of 52 international fugitives involved in serious crimes such as terrorism, organised crime, money laundering, murder and drugs.