x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

270,000 Tramadol pills seized at airport, officials say

Drug was found in shipment from an Asian country, officials say.

DUBAI // More than 270,000 Tramadol pills were seized by customs officers at Dubai International Airport, officials said today.

The seizure, one of the largest this year, took place last week at the airport's Free Zone Inspection Centre.

According to Omar Al Muhairy, Senior Manager of Air Cargo Operations at Dubai Customs, the haul came from an Asian country and totaled 276,440 pills of the restricted drug.

"The cargo was initially suspected after being X-rayed," he said. "After a manual search, huge quantities of pills were uncovered and transferred to the Ministry of Health as the specialised authority in this matter to seek confirmation".

According to Mr Al Muhairy, no permits were issued for the import of the narcotic and investigations revealed that the cargo owner did not have clearance to transport such medication.

This operation is the 17th Tramadol smuggling try broken up since 2010, officials said.

"The Air Cargo Operations at Dubai Customs has foiled 16 smuggling attempts of Tramadol in 2010 and 2011 with a total of around 3 million pills seized," Mr Al Muhairy said.

Tramadol is a highly controlled drug used as a painkiller.

amustafa@theantional.ae