Here’s what we know about the British ‘Drug Lord’ arrested in Dubai | News Bharat

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Police seize weapons during Operation Desert Light. Photo:

British national Ryan James Hale, an associate of the Kinahan drug cartel, has been named as one of 6 alleged high-profile traffickers arrested in an international crackdown on a so-called Dubai-based “super cartel”.

Hale, 32, is part of a group of six suspected top-level drug traffickers arrested in the Gulf city-state as part of Operation Desert Light, a joint mission by international police, including Europol and the US Drug Enforcement Administration, to deal with the cocaine trade in Europe. which resulted in a total of 49 arrests in six countries.

the Spanish Civil Guard told the newspaper The country they began monitoring Hale while he was living in Marbella on the southern coast of Spain. They accessed encrypted phone messages between people they say were prolific importers of cocaine from Central America at ports in Spain. The messages included secret chats about a person called “Robo” trying to find out whether a 700 kilo shipment of cocaine that disappeared in Valencia in 2020 had been seized by police or stolen by a rival gang.

The Civil Guard later identified “Robo” as Hale, who they allege is the overall leader of the supercartel. They said Hale has strong ties to the Kinahan organized crime group, an Irish gang with a significant stake in Europe’s cocaine trade, the highest level of which is wanted by the DEA. According to intercepted messages, police said Hale laundered drug money by buying property and high-end sports cars, including a €300,000 Lamborghini. [£257,000] in Marbella before fleeing to Dubai because he feared being kidnapped by rivals.

The five other “high-level” supercartel targets arrested in Dubai were Panamanian Anthony Alfredo Martínez Meza, who is alleged to have bought the cocaine and was behind the name “Hassan” in encrypted phone messages; Dutch-Bosnian trafficker Edin “Tito” Gacanin, one of Europe’s biggest traffickers, and three Dutch-Moroccans with key positions in the supercartel, Zouhair Belkhair, Hoesny Ajaray and Rabhioui Bourfa.

Last month, VICE Word News revealed how Dubai is becoming an increasingly risky haven for criminals due to a series of crackdowns by UAE authorities.

Despite the success of Operation Desert Light in targeting what they believe to be Europe’s top cocaine traffickers hiding out in Dubai, there was also shame.

A video released by Europol showing the operation included images of luxury cars at Magna Supercars in Marbella, implying the business and cars were part of the criminal conspiracy. But Europol had to make a new version of the video with the name of the business blurred out at the request of the Civil Guard, which provided the footage.

Enrique Ramallo, co-owner of Magna Supercars, told VICE World News: “We were very surprised when we discovered our image all over the news. The Civil Guard asked for permission to record the video for their families. We told them that was no problem but please no internet due to our customers privacy they sent it to Europol and they used [it] in the video We are a very serious company that has been working hard for our clients for more than five years and this situation makes us ‘look’ like a criminal company”. Ramallo said the Civil Guard has apologized for the mistake.

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