More than 1,600 attempts to smuggle contraband into the country were foiled by Dubai Customs in 2017
21 per cent increase in seizures of illicit items at Dubai’s borders
Dubai Customs foiled more than 1,600 attempts to smuggle contraband into the country last year.
Details of the hauls were released by authorities on Tuesday and showed a 21 per cent increase in the number of seizures compared to the previous year.
In 2017, 1,628 smuggling attempts were foiled at Dubai’s air, land and sea borders with 917 of the seizures being carried out at the airport.
One such attempt was carried out by a man who hid massive amounts of Captagon pills in animal offal, wrapping the pills in salt to conceal them.
Customs officers screened the barrels which revealed materials of different densities within the container. Additional inspections revealed more than a tonne of pills within the barrels.
Another major bust saw officers of Jebel Ali Customs Centre seize 12 kg of opium.
Sultan bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive of DP World and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said staff are trained often so they can spot such attempts.
"Dubai Customs regularly updates its systems and inspection devices.
"Dubai is leading the way internationally in combating any attempts of smuggling to protect society from the hazards of drugs,” he said.
“Dubai Customs plays an essential role in this by continually developing its human capital according to the highest inspection standards."
National Editorial: The ongoing war on drugs
Dubai Customs employs the Risk Engine – a system that was developed entirely in-house - to help expose any attempts to smuggle contraband into the country.
It is a smart system that filters through all data on customs declarations of consignments and individuals. The system is managed by Dubai Customs Intelligence Department, and is responsible for profiling and analysing data to identify risks and intercept suspected consignments, reported state news agency Wam.
Ahmed Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs, said another innovation used by authorities is Al Kashif Inspection Smart Vehicle.
The cart is equipped with 16 devices that allow it to detect various narcotics, inflammable and radioactive materials, and explosives. The eco-friendly golf buggy can also analyse medication samples in seven minutes.