x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

$1.4m of crystal meth found in car parts

26kg methamphetamine haul is second largest seized in Dubai.

DUBAI // Dubai Customs have seized 26kg of methamphetamine concealed in a package of car parts.

The drugs, worth around $1.4m, were destined for an undisclosed Asian country. They arrived two months ago by air cargo from another undisclosed country.

The stash is the second largest of the drug - also known as crystal meth - ever found by Dubai Customs officials.

Customs officials carried out both an X-ray scan and a manual search of the package, before dispatching a mobile laboratory and dogs unit to verify the substance.

"There was a huge quantity of the drug," said Omar Ahmed al Muhairi, senior manager of air cargo operations at Dubai Customs.

Dubai Customs' biggest crystal meth seizure was of 113kg, in December 2010.

A UN drugs report earlier this year said methamphetamine was often shipped through Dubai for markets such as Malaysia, Singapore and China.

Mr al Muhairi declined to say where the drugs were headed. "We have passed on the information to the authorities in the relevant countries for them to follow up," he said.

Dubai has attracted criticism in the past for not sufficiently screening the huge volume of goods that pass through the country's ports. In a separate statement, Mr al Muhairi said that was no longer the case.

"We managed to achieve this difficult balance between simplifying acceleration of process from one side, and ensuring legitimate transportation of goods for either local market consumption or external markets on the other side," he said.