Dubai Police have seized 365kg of drugs worth Dhs278.5m in a major operation, making it the largest drug haul in the UAE. Officials said they have arrested 16 Asian suspects as part of ‘Operation Stalker’.

Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said that the suspects smuggled the heroin, hashish and crystal meth, said to be worth Dh280 million, inside vehicle spare parts.

“They were smuggling the drugs inside cars spare parts and stored it in a warehouse,” he added.

The drug haul included 268kg of heroin, 96kg of crystal meth and 1kg of hashish.

Dubai Police said the operation was successfully carried out in collaboration with Ajman, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain police, who helped arrest the suspects.

Meanwhile, Major-General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, said that the case involved an exchange of information with many other countries to help nab the suspects and seize the drugs.

“Dubai Police teams collected information from different areas in the UAE and coordinated with Interpol to arrest the suspects,” said Al Mansouri. “Many countries helped the UAE in this case by exchanging information.

Colonel Khalid Bin Moyazeh, Deputy Director of the Anti-Narcotic Department at Dubai Police, said that the first gang contained six Asian suspects who were posing as cleaners, employees and maintenance workers to smuggle and sell the drugs.

“The gang’s ring leader is a resident in the UAE and works as a cleaner,” said Bin Moyazeh.

“He was coordinating with a big drug dealer in his home country to smuggle and trade drugs inside the UAE,” he added.

On January 26 of this year, Dubai Police arrested two suspects near their residence in Sharjah while they were delivering a bag containing 4.2kg of drugs to a third suspect.

Other suspects were arrested later and one of them was arrested at Sharjah International Airport as he tried to flee the country.

A second gang was arrested at a garage in Sharjah after a Dubai Police tip-off.

“The gang hid part of the drugs stash in Umm Al Quwain and the other in a car workshop in Sharjah. We raided the car workshop and arrested the suspects and found the drugs hidden inside car spare parts. The drugs were smuggled as spare parts and the gang aimed to sell it inside the country,” said Bin Moyazeh.