Dubai 'shock' camel jockey sellers held

2011-01-20 21:32

Dubai - Dubai police have arrested two men for selling robotic jockeys that allegedly contain an electric shock device to make camels run faster, a senior police officer told AFP on Thursday.

Police arrested "a salesperson and a commercial mediator" for selling robotic riders equipped with a device to electrically shock camels into a speedier performance, said the officer on condition of anonymity.

He added the arrest was the outcome of an undercover operation launched in response to a tip on modified jockeys selling for $8 000.

Ordinary robotic jockeys, which replaced child jockeys in the Gulf country after a 2005 ban on their participation, cost between $217 and $235.

The National daily reported on Thursday that police arrested two Asians late on Sunday along with several others "working in the suspects' manufacturing plant".

"Using electric shocks on a camel is a violation of animal rights and also against the rules of camel racing," the daily quoted acting police chief Khamis al-Mazeina as saying.

Those convicted of the practice face three months in prison, a fine of up to $13 612 and confiscation of the camel involved, according to the daily.

Camel racing is an extremely popular traditional sport in the United Arab Emirates, where people spend millions on acquiring the fastest animals.

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