Dubai Police bust international gang involved in smuggling cocaine in sugar shipments


Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

In an international sting operation, the Dubai Police and police forces of France, Spain, and Colombia have recently dismantled a transnational organised crime syndicate involved in trafficking and smuggling cocaine in shipments of sugar from South America to Europe.

Code-named ‘Canne à Sucre’, the operation took place on May 5 when the Dubai Police arrested a key member of the criminal syndicate in a synchronised series of raids in France, Spain, and Colombia, which resulted in the arresting 17 other criminals and the seizure of 22 tonnes of sugar contaminated with cocaine smuggled from Colombia through the Port of Le Havre in France.

Real-Time Exchange of Security Information

Stéphanie Cherbonnier, Inspector General and Director of Anti-Narcotics in France (Ofast), praised Dubai Police’s professionalism and swift response in arresting the criminal. She explained that the General Department of Anti-Narcotics at Dubai Police played an exceptional role in investigating and apprehending the criminal.

Cherbonnier further valued the commitment that Dubai Police demonstrated in the global fight against organised crime and their tireless work in investigating and apprehending criminals. She explained that the real-time exchange of security intelligence between the law enforcement agencies of France, Spain, Colombia and Dubai contributed to the operation’s success.

Joint Efforts for a Safer World

Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said the Op ‘Canne à Sucre’ is another achievement of the fruitful cooperation between Dubai Police and international law enforcement agencies in ensuring the world’s security and safety and tackling transnational organised crime.

Lt. Gen. Al Marri attributed the operation’s success to the continuous support and the UAE’s wise leadership that has always directed the UAE’s forces to maintain strong, active, and vital communication channels with the world’s police agencies to tackle transnational organised crime.

The Commander-in-chief of Dubai Police also praised the tremendous efforts made by the force’s team from the General Department of Criminal Investigations, who located, tracked, and arrested the suspect. He confirmed that determining the synchronised zero-hour between countries was the most crucial factor in the operation’s success.

Utilising the Latest Technologies

Expert Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs at Dubai Police, said Op ‘Canne à Sucre’ was carried out in sync between police forces of France, Spain, Dubai, and Colombia after exchanging security information with several European countries, the United Kingdom, and the USA. He added that participating police forces utilised the latest technologies and tools in tracking down and apprehending the criminals.

Criminal Record

Brigadier Eid Muhammad Hareb, Director of the General Department for Anti-narcotics, said it all began in June 2021, when the French authorities investigated some companies that committed misappropriations during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. The investigators then concluded that those companies and their managers’ identities were faked to hide their illegal activities and schemes of smuggling drugs into Europe through shipments of contaminated sugar from Colombia. 

“After meticulous monitoring, ten criminals were arrested in France, six of whom were placed in detention; seven others are in Spain, and one in Dubai,” he added.

Brigadier Bin Thani confirmed that nearly 22 tonnes of sugar packaged in 900 bags were seized in Thiais after the cargo was unloaded at the port of Le Havre in France.

He added that investigators discovered that this criminal organisation was behind the import of 12 tonnes of tobacco seized by the Belgian authorities in August 2021, 600 kilos of cocaine seized in September 2021 in the port of Cartagena by the Colombian authorities as well as the laundering of several million euros.






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