Operation Stalker sends out a clear and loud message.
Few people understand the major effort it is by the police to bust a drug cartel and crack open a multi-million-dollar ring. What the Dubai police have achieved with their skill and determination deserves great accolade because the magnitude of the operation is one more successful battle in the global war against narcotics, that being an ongoing conflict to kill this hydra headed evil.
It is not just a cinematic scenario that the drug rings and the overlords are hugely organised, wealthy and ruthless, that they prey on the weak and the young not just as carriers and couriers and labourers to move the narcotics across international borders but are also death merchants to a whole generation of young men and women who are their ultimate target.
The one factor we do not realise when something like Operation Stalker is successfully concluded is how many lives have been saved because 268kg of heroin, 96kg of crystal meth and one kg of hashish were captured and unable to filter into the streets of whatever destination they were bound for. Each packet had ‘death’ stenciled on it.
By that very measure, knowing how professional and brutal these gangs are the police put themselves at risk by gathering intelligence, going incognito or ‘undercover’ to discover where the cutouts are and which is the poisonous head of the organisation. No point catching the little fish, this toxic hierarchy has to be totally eliminated.
And it is not just lives of the innocent that are held at ransom but the nourishment that narcotics give to disease. Over 190,000 people annually are hit by HIV and hepatitis and tuberculosis and die according the UN office of drugs and crime. As many as 12 million are regular injecting users globally, what one would call addicts, and over 200 million buy drugs illegally each year. That is staggering as a potential market and that is why drug enforcement is such a full-time job.
Medical science is also held hostage. Instead of treating deserving patients, precious resources are spent on self-destructive individuals. The long list of diseases can be passed on to others and the numbers become massive.
There is a third element that also comes to the fore in the aftermath of such raids and that is the message that the UAE sends out loud and clear. This may be the year of tolerance but exempt in toto is even a speck of tolerance for those who would dare to assume that the UAE is a transit point for narcotics and take that chance. This crackdown will serve as a powerful reminder that you don’t mess with the UAE.
Anyone who has witnessed a loved one or a friend become a victim of drugs of any sort will understand and appreciate that this war is hard fought and every battle hard won. The margins of profit are so huge that greed and stupidity combine to create a devil’s workshop and without recognising they are bartering their lives away volunteer to be mules or carriers. Be sure that if you are so tempted the UAE is not the place to land in because you will be found out . and you deserve to be found out.
The other fallacy is something that careless media often perpetuates and that is the use of phrases like recreational drugs or drugs for fun or personal use. Recently a high-profile business tycoon was caught with 25gm of cannabis in Japan. Without intent to sell. That is not an excuse and there is no such thing as ‘personal usage’ and it is not an escape clause for carrying drugs.
The 16-people arrested under Operation Stalker knew what they were doing. Regret and remorse come only because they are caught because greed blinded them to the fact that they were packaging a painful death and making profit from it.
It is a terribly complex world and with opiates, hallucinogens, stimulants and sedatives added to the mix nearly 1 per cent of the global GDP is connected to illegal drugs. And this does not include the corollaries of expenditure on health issues and the pressure on the medical establishments.
Some nations like the UAE have a very stringent code of zero tolerance and mandate sever punishment for offenders often including death. These governments and forces know exactly how grave the situation is. And the more they collaborate with each other to block the most popular routes and hit the bases there is hope that a generation of young people will pull back from staring into hideous face of the evil.
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