An online drug service operating through WhatsApp was recently busted by Dubai’s police forces. Traffickers would send unsolicited messages to random numbers offering all kinds of illicit substances to strangers ranging from crystal meth, hashish and unlicensed painkillers.
“Once recipients show interest, GPS locations of drugs are shared with buyers after payment has been made. Buyers then collect the drugs, which are usually buried underground, from the specified locations,” explained Colonel Abdullah Al Khayat, manager of Hemaya International Center at Dubai Police.
Working hand in hand with two of the main telephone providers of the UAE, namely Etisalat and DU, an extensive six-month-long campaign was jointly led from July to November 2021 to identify the criminals behind the illegal narcotic scheme.
A hundred drug traffickers arrested for using an illicit WhatsApp "delivery service" to target the public https://t.co/rweMhsIiF8
— The National (@TheNationalNews) March 2, 2022
It has been reported to be one of the nation’s largest crime-fighting missions yet, with 100 traffickers arrested as a result of the operation.
“Adults were very responsive and followed instructions, but there is a need for parents to talk to their children about the topic [to prevent] them falling victims to drug promoters,” Al Khayat continued.
Determined to put a once-and-for- all end to substance peddling in the UAE, the country’s effective authorities regularly seize and severely punish any individual that challenges the nation’s legislations. Earlier this year, a man was sentenced by Dubai’s criminal court to 10 years of imprisonment after being found guilty of possession with intention to supply.