7 held in twin drug hauls

MUSCAT: The Coast Guard of the Royal Oman Police has arrested three suspected drug traffickers while smuggling a large quantity of hashish into Qurum earlier this week.

According to an official source at Coast Guard Headquarters, the trio — all nationals of an Asian country — were captured off the coast of Al Fahal Island that overlooks the sensitive Mina al Fahal area of Muscat.

243779Acting on a tip-off received by the Operations Directorate at the Coast Guard Headquarters, authorities despatched a patrol boat to intercept a boat carrying the alleged smugglers. All three suspects were detained and transferred to the Muttrah police station for further investigation.

An inspection of the boat also yielded a haul of heroin, which has been sent to the Directorate of Drugs for analysis and further investigation. The boat was impounded by the Coast Guard of the Muscat police station, the source added.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Narcotics Department of the ROP arrested four expatriates who were found to be peddling drugs in the Al Khuwair area. According to an official source, three of the alleged peddlers had been under the surveillance of an anti-drugs team and were caught selling drugs to addicts.

A fourth member of the gang was arrested from a nearby apartment used by the suspects — all nationals of an Asian country.

243780Further investigations led the police to a hideout in the Wilayat of Qurayat where more than nine kilos of drugs, buried underground, were recovered in an intensive search aided by the ROP’s Dog Squad. The accused have been referred to the Public Prosecution for further investigation and their eventual trial.

In a statement, the ROP sought the general public’s cooperation in combating illegal activities, particularly by reporting any suspicious activities in their neighbourhoods and communities. The statement urged citizens and residents not to hire foreigners who lack proper documentation and residency permits, as well as refrain from facilitating their illegal entry into the Sultanate.

Any suspicious activity may be reported to the nearest police station or the toll-free emergency number 9999, the statement added.

SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER

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