Drug smuggling gang busted in Bahrain
Manama, February 11, 2014
New details of a notorious drug smuggling gang that was operating in Bahrain have come to light.
Twenty-three men were apprehended last November when an estimated BD2 million ($5.2 million) worth of raw heroin was discovered at an undisclosed location in Muharraq, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
"The operation was the biggest smuggling racket in the GCC," said Al Arabiya Bahrain correspondent Mohammed Al Arab, who went undercover to buy drugs from the gang.
"There were three Pakistanis that were the heads of the organisation, and 60 dealers, who were GCC citizens, Asians, Iranians and Bahrainis."
The Arabic news channel will air the second part of a documentary about the gang at 9.30pm on February 15, detailing how the smugglers were caught.
Al Arab said he was helped by an undercover policewoman to gain access to the criminals.
"She made the introduction to those who were selling the drugs, and I managed to purchase them," he said.
"The entire operation was overseen by the Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA), who were completely professional and of high calibre."
The GDN earlier reported that the gang had transferred BD775,000 to Pakistan from their drug-trafficking proceeds.
Those arrested are still remanded in custody.
Since they were intelligent enough not to meet customers in person and wired money directly to Pakistan, it was difficult for the anti-narcotics squad to arrange a sting operation and arrest the suspects red-handed.
"The heroin is originally in one of the Asian countries," said Drug Enforcement Administration head Mubarak Al Mari.
"It is then brought to the GCC by sea and stays at one of the GCC countries for about two months.
"It is then transported, again by sea, to Bahrain through Mina Khalifa Port.
"The head of the smugglers and his second in command will then pick it up and store it, and they are the only ones who know the location.
"Then they start having it distributed to the different governorates - Southern, Central, Manama and Muharraq.
"They then call in their dealers to distribute it, and the money goes back to the original Asian country." - TradeArabia News Service