Dubai: UAE Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on Monday praised the arrest of 49 drug lords in Dubai, including six key suspects who were part of a "super-cartel" that controlled a third of was. of cocaine trade networks in Europe.
The UAE Ministry of Interior, the Dubai Police General Command, the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation Europol and several foreign law enforcement agencies worked together to coordinate the arrests.
Parallel investigations were carried out in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates with the assistance of Europol, which focused on the activities of an extensive criminal network involved in large-scale drug trafficking and money laundering.
According to Europol, during the extensive international operation, law enforcement officers seized more than 30 tons of drugs.
Two "high-value" suspects with connections to the Netherlands, two with connections to Spain, and two with connections to France were detained in Dubai.
"One of the Dutch suspects is a very big fish," a Europol source told AFP. In connection with the same operation, 14 people were detained in the Netherlands in 2021, as well as 13 additional arrests in Spain, six in France and 10 in Belgium.
The success of Operation Desert Light was, according to Sheikh Saif, made possible by international cooperation between governments and law enforcement organizations. He added that the joint agreements have been instrumental in the UAE's dedication to international safety and security.
According to Europol, as part of this commitment to combat transnational crime, Europol and the UAE Ministry of Interior signed a Liaison Officer Agreement in September. The agreement guarantees the dispatch of liaison officers for UAE law enforcement to Europol's Netherlands headquarters.
The network of over 250 liaison officers from over 50 countries and organizations with permanent representation at Europol now includes a representative from the UAE.