Oman busts new spy ring directed by UAE
The Omani authorities have arrested a new spy cell operating against the Sultanate, while the cell operates under orders from Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
The Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper reported that the Omani security services were able to obtain information about a UAE spy network operating against the Sultanate. The information leads to reveal details and identify the names of all its members and companies cooperating with them.
According to information obtained by the newspaper, the incident revealed to the Omani agencies that Mohammed bin Rashid was personally following up with the file of the network, which opens the possibility of significant tension between the two parties, according to the same sources.
According to the sources, Muscat has confronted Abu Dhabi with the information it possesses, by threatening the authorities in the country to expose the file and bring it to the public, or to provide Abu Dhabi with names of all the old and new spies.
The UAE response is represented by Mohammed bin Rashid’s opening of a line of communication with Omani officials in the ports of Duqm and Sohar, competitors of the UAE ports, to lure them and offer them to obstruct the development of the two ports, in exchange for generous bribes including granting them UAE citizenship with residential buildings, cars and money.
According to the sources, the ruler of Dubai, in the context of recruiting and luring Omani port officials, used a method previously used by the UAE intelligence service to recruit intelligence agents from different countries. He arrested the element and took information from him about his country in exchange for his release. After the disclosure of the Omani intelligence network espionage and arrest of its members.
Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said has held meetings, away from the spotlight, with some rulers in the UAE who are at odds with the rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
According to Gulf sources, the conflict between Muscat and Abu Dhabi comes in a broader context while the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, is leading an attack on Turkey, Qatar and Oman.
In addition to the political row between Mohammed bin Zayed and these countries, he seems to be tightening the boycott of the three countries commercially beyond the declared boycott of Qatar to reduce economic cooperation, according to the newspaper.
According to the newspaper, the UAE intelligence service used the banking system to identify the commercial companies and traders who deal with neighboring countries, led by Qatar, Turkey and Oman.
According to the newspaper, UAE agencies have used “twisted tactics” to trap these companies since last year. The agents of the banking system in the UAE have become traders and have contacted some companies in the three countries, asking them to transfer their shipments to and from the UAE.
If one of these companies approved, the deal will be canceled and the company will be placed on the “watch list” and will be subjected to strict control measures that may reach to stopping the company from working.
In 2011, the Omani government announced that it had seized an Emirati spy cell and then at the end of last year tried a second espionage cell belonging to Abu Dhabi.