Blast reveals hash cache

Published on 22 December 2011 in News
Abdulkareem Al-Nahari (author)

Abdulkareem Al-Nahari

Part of the house where the explosion occurred in Dhamar

Part of the house where the explosion occurred in Dhamar

DHAMAR Dec. 18 — A hashish packing workshop was exposed after an explosion on Friday morning on the southern ring road in Dhamar (100km to the south of Sana'a).

The blast happened when a worker tried to puncture a gas cylinder not realizing it was actually packed with drugs. The explosion cut off his leg causing him serious physical injuries, while the workshop, where hashish was packed in preparation for smuggling to neighboring countries, was demolished.

A security source at the local Criminal Investigation Bureau said that the person in charge of the workshop had fled the scene as soon as the explosion occurred and before security arrived, while neighbors rushed the injured man to hospital.

While details of the case are being kept confidential, the source said police are searching for 50-year-old Abdul Hafith Mohammed Saleh Al-Qaderi, the man suspected of being behind the drug factory.

The source added that the police have detained the fugitive’s wife and children in a bid to press him into turning himself in. however, questioning the wife and the wounded man, who is now being treated in a hospital in Sana'a, did not reveal the itinerary of the drug shipment nor the people connected to Al-Qaderi’s operations.

The security source said that the drugs probably came from Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iran, smuggled through Yemeni coasts to be sent later to neighboring countries.

Another security source explained that they had confiscated six gas cylinders that had been cut and filled with the narcotic grass, in addition to equipment used in welding and packing the cylinders.

“Packing the cannabis in the cylinders,” he said, “was performed meticulously. A cylinder was cut from the middle and a tin container like the ones used for packing dates, filled with grass, wrapped in plastic was put inside. The cylinder was then welded again and they made sure that the modified cylinder was lighter than the normal filled one. The difference in weight is then dealt with by filling the empty space with gas so that no one would be the wiser as to the contents.”

A neighbor said that when the security forces arrived, they dealt with the scene as a workshop producing explosives and owned by a terrorist group planning to carry out operations in the governorate. That was their initial impression, especially when they found equipment similar to that used by terrorists.

They handled the drugs very cautiously believing it to be dangerous and highly explosive chemicals, only realizing the nature of the matter a day after confiscating the hash.

At first, the press quoted security sources as saying that they had discovered an explosives factory belonging to a group plotting terrorist attacks.