Picture used for illustrative purposes.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Police have dismantled a huge drugs "super-cartel" that controlled a third of Europe's cocaine trade, arresting 49 people in various countries, including six chief suspects in Dubai, Europol said on Monday.
Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, has lauded the joint international efforts between the Ministry of Interior in the United Arab Emirates- represented by the Dubai Police General Command, and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation 'Europol' , law enforcement of Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the United States of America, which contributed to the success of Operation 'Desert Light' that led to arresting 49 drug kingpins and members of a prolific transnational criminal network involved in large-scale drugs trafficking and money laundering.
Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan attributed the success of Op 'Desert Light' to the fruitful international cooperation efforts amongst the participating countries in combating transnational money laundering and drug trafficking crimes. He further reaffirmed the UAE's keenness to maintain active communication channels with various police agencies worldwide to ensure the world's safety and security.
Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif also confirmed that the global joint efforts in combating money laundering are in line with the UAE's National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism, praising the successful coordination between all strategic partners and international police agencies in combating transnational crime and organised crime syndicates.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, the Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said that Operation 'Desert Light' is another testimony to the UAE's tireless efforts in combating money laundering crimes and clamping down on organised criminal networks by utilising strong international security coordination and cooperation.
His Excellency indicated that the real-time coordination among all the partners involved ensured swift tactical decisions and attributed to achieving this qualitative achievement, arresting the high-value targets, and dismantling their criminal infrastructure and network.
Lt. Gen. Al Marri explained the Operation is the culmination of parallel investigations run in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UAE with the support of Europol into the activities of this prolific criminal network involved in large-scale drug trafficking between Latin America and Europe and money laundering crimes.
A 50-year-old Brazilian visitor was detained and referred to criminal court, for smuggling (54) capsules of cocaine drugs in his stomach, while being on a transit trip to an African country.
A 47-year-old African visitor was arrested and referred to criminal court on drug-trafficking charges, for attempting to smuggle 951g of cocaine inside his stomach into the country’s airport.
Two of the gang members came to take the narcotics upon the instructions of their leaders, Hareb said, adding that the suspects took out part of the narcotics estimated at 22 kilograms of crystal from the warehouse to a Sharjah industrial area to be hidden until new instructions would be received.
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