Dozens of Punjabi youth in UAE illegal alcohol trade: Report

UAE courts have sentenced 22 young Indian men to death in the last 3 years and many others face capital punishment.

Dubai: Bloody turf battles to control
illegal alcohol trade in the labour camps of UAE have landed
dozens of Indian youth in jail; a news report here has said
adding that many of them are facing death for allegedly
killing rival gang members in Sharjah and Dubai.

According to the report, courts in UAE have sentenced 22
young Indian men to death in the last 3 years and many
others face capital punishment.

According to a Gulf News investigation, of the 60
youngsters, aged between 19 and 28, who are on death row or
are being prosecuted, 59 are from Punjab and 1 from Haryana.

These include the 17 Indians who were sentenced to death
for killing a Pakistani during a territorial fight to control
the illegal liquor trade in Sharjah.

According to the report, there are around 1,00,000
Punjabis in the UAE.

S P Singh Oberoi, founder member of the Indian Punjabi
Society in Dubai, told the newspaper, the root cause for the
malaise could be the extreme poverty in some pockets of Punjab
where families barely have two square meals a day or a roof
over their heads.

"The Punjabi youth held on bootlegging charges in the UAE
are from poverty-stricken backgrounds. With hopes of a
turnaround, they took hefty loans to come here and work as
carpenters, plumbers and labourers," Oberoi was quoted.

Most youths involved in bootlegging cases were initially
hired for skilled jobs and were earning up to Rs 14,940 (1,200
dirhams) a month.

But soon they were drawn towards another trade - the
lucrative and dangerous business of bootlegging that has
killed an unspecified number of people in gang wars, the
report said.

Plying alcohol in labour camps, they earn up to Rs 6,225
(500 dirhams) per day, the sources said.

In August, the newspaper had uncovered the illegal
alcohol business in labour camps around Jebel Ali area of
Dubai found that the trade was dominated by Indian Punjabis.

Various factions with 40-50 youths man these areas.

Territories are clearly defined and trespassers are dealt with

Turf wars are routine and have already claimed many