Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, has lauded the arrest of 49 drug kingpins and members of a transnational criminal network involved in large-scale drugs trafficking and money laundering, according to a statement released on Monday.
The arrests followed joint international efforts between the UAE’s Interior Ministry represented by the Dubai Police General Command, and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation Europol, and overseas law enforcement agencies.
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Al Nahyan attributed the success of Operation ‘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.
During the huge international operation 30 tonnes of drugs were seized and also involved arrests in France, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands, Europol said in a statement.
Europol said Dubai had arrested two “high-value” suspects who are linked to the Netherlands, another two linked to Spain, and two more connected to France.
“One of the Dutch suspects is an extremely big fish,” a Europol source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Thirteen people were arrested in Spain, six in France and 10 in Belgium, while 14 people were arrested in 2021 in the Netherlands as part of the same operation, it said.
Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, the Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, explained that Operation ‘Desert Light’ was 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 in money laundering crimes.
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