UAE seizes 35.5 tonnes of drugs worth $717 million in an international operation 'Lionfish 5' - GulfToday

UAE seizes 35.5 tonnes of drugs worth $717 million in an international operation 'Lionfish 5'

Peddlers caught red handed by forces during a special operation.

Abdulrahman Saeed, Staff Reporter

In a joint international anti-drug operation named “Lionfish 5”, more than 35.5 tons of drugs worth over 717 million US dollars were seized under the supervision of INTERPOL and in cooperation with 22 countries including the UAE.  

This came during a virtual press conference organized by the Security Media Department at the Ministry of Interior on Thursday morning, to announce the results of the “Lionfish 5” operation and the Ministry’s pivotal role in strengthening the global efforts in combating drugs.

 “The UAE Ministry of Interior is keen to support international cooperation to combat drugs, and its participation in Lionfish, confirms this commitment,” Brigadier Abdulrahman Mohammed Al Owais, Deputy Director-General of the Federal Drug Control Department at the Ministry of Interior, said.

Al Owais stressed that the UAE provided many confidential data and information about drug transporters and dealers, which resulted in the seizure of large quantities of drugs, emphasizing commitment of Ministry to continue supporting the international cooperation to combat drugs.

 “Over the past five years, we have worked closely and participated in many international operations, including “Lionfish 5” operation, which began in Singapore and is currently in its fifth edition in the UAE. We worked on two levels, the first is prevention and the second is seizures,” Major Hamad Yousef Khater Al Hammadi, Director of the International Operations Department at the Ministry of Interior, said.

For his part, David Konter of the Organized and Emerging Crime Department Narcotics Unit at INTERPOL said that 1,333 suspects had been arrested, and 22,000 tons of cocaine, 52 kilos of heroin, 65,000 tablets of Tramadol, and many firearms and explosives had been seized in the Lionfish operation.

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