Five arrested in raid on illegal tattoo parlour

Gang solicited customers through Instagram and offered tattoos for between Dh1,500 to Dh6,000

Dubai: Dubai Police have arrested a gang of five men who were running an illegal tattoo parlour and attracting customers through Instagram, an official said on Monday.


The Arabic suspect with his four Asian assistants were arrested in a raid conducted at International City.

Major-General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, assistant commander-in-chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs of Dubai Police, said the gang were using an apartment as a tattoo parlour without a licence.

“Our officers noticed a group of teenagers gathering at an apartment. After investigation, we discovered that they were heading to a tattoo shop. The suspects were luring young people through Instagram,” Maj-Gen Al Mansouri said.

Police said the Arabic suspect turned his apartment into a tattoo parlour and charged Dh1,500 to Dh6,000 depending on the design.

Lt Col Omar Mohammad Bin Hammad, deputy director of the Anti-Economic Crime Department at Dubai Police, said the gang were using coloured inks and tools in tattoo and body painting. He said they decided to raid the apartment as the gang doesn’t have a license and they don’t know the source of the tools and materials.

“We noticed that many young people gathered around the building and an online account promoting for tattoos and body painting. We raided the apartment and found pictures of tattoos and strange painting of snakes and dragons on the walls,” Lt Col Bin Hammad said.

Police recovered drills and unknown colours used in the unhygienic operation.

The gang were referred to Dubai public prosecution to finish the investigation.

In a separate incident, Dubai police arrested two Asian men who were offering tattoos painting at customers’ homes after promoting their services on social platforms.

“They were providing their services for men and women and they used to make tattoos at the customer’s home.”

Police set a trap for the two suspects by contacting them as customers and arranged a meeting before arresting the pair with their tools.

Lt Col Bin Hamad, said the pair referred to prosecution for practising without a licence.

“Anyone who suffers injuries or skin problems because of the tattoo operation can complain at a police station,” he added.

Police urged young people to stay away from such activities as it endanger the lives and can cause problems or might cause certain skin diseases.

Unlicensed tattoos

It is illegal to get a tattoo done by an unlicensed tattoo artist due to the risks this poses to public health, as it might not comply with relevant health standards, the tools might not be sterilised and may thus lead to the transmission of serious diseases such as Aids or Hepatitis and the tattoo itself might cause certain skin diseases.

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