Sun 21 Mar 2010 12:01 PM
Dahi Khalfan Tamim
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Dahi Khalfan Tamim

Industry: Culture & Society

Company: Dubai Police

Designation: Chief

Country: United Arab Emirates

Occupation: Chief

The chief of Dubai Police, Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim has always been a colourful figure. But thanks to the events of the last few months, he has become a globally recognised and respected one.

When a Mossad-linked hit team chose a luxury Dubai hotel as the location for the assassination of Hamas heavyweight Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, they came under Khalfan’s jurisdiction — and right now, they’re probably wishing they hadn’t bothered.

After all, Khalfan and his troops have splashed the killers’ faces across televisions the world over. Newspapers from Washington to Jerusalem ran colour photos of the accused, gleaned from dramatic CCTV footage, a tactic which proved invaluable in identifying a sophisticated network of passport fraud which allowed the killers into and out of the country.

Not content with that, Khalfan outlined an elaborate operation involving false beards, wigs, tennis gear and knockout drugs. He threatened to issue an arrest warrant for Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu, and has appeared relentless in his pursuit of what he contends is “with 99 percent certainty” an Israeli crime.

Al Mabhouh’s killers tried to disguise murder as death by natural causes; thanks to Khalfan and his team, the world now knows what really happened. The swift response and high-tech methodology of Dubai Police have earned international plaudits and the culprits are the subject of an international manhunt. Whether they are ever brought to justice, the message from Dubai Police is clear: not in our town.

And it’s not the first time that Khalfan has delivered results under pressure and with impressive speed. Last year he won praise for solving the murder of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim, who was murdered in a Dubai Marina flat on the orders of an Egyptian billionaire. He also closed the case on the assassination of Chechen warlord Sulim Yamadayev, and rounded up the usual suspects in the wake of a $3.8m jewellery heist in the emirate.

Khalfan, 59, trained in Jordan shortly after the UAE was created in 1971. He has a well-earned reputation for hard work — indeed, he visits his mother every morning without fail, and reports personally to HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, before he goes home.