x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Bid to smuggle 65kg of drugs through Dubai airport averted

Dubai Police foil attempt to smuggle 65 kilograms of prescription medicine into Istanbul.

DUBAI // Police have foiled an attempt to smuggle 65 kilograms of addictive prescription medicine through Dubai.

The drugs - Clonazepman pills - were found recently at Dubai International Airport in three suitcases belonging to a transit passenger travelling from Islamabad to Istanbul.

Customs officials grew suspicious when the suitcases were left on the baggage collection belt.

"The passenger, instead of collecting his bags, proceeded to the transit lounge and bought a new ticket to Istanbul requesting the transfer of his baggage on the same flight, arousing customs inspectors' doubts about the contents of the bags," said Ali Al Maqahwi, director of airport operations at Dubai Customs.

The suitcases were delivered to Istanbul after Customs officers and police tipped off Turkish authorities and gave them the passenger's details.

"The passenger failed to travel to Istanbul on the same flight as his bags and took the next flight in a bid to hide what he was doing," said Mr Al Maqahwi.

The passenger was arrested when he collected his luggage.

Clonazepam, sometimes sold under the name Rivotril, is designed to treat epilepsy, but is also abused by drug addicts. Dangers of long-term use include depression, loss of memory, hallucination and weight-gain.