x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Customs officers seize Dh1bn of Tramadol pills

Customs foil an attempt to smuggle more than Dh1 billion worth of Tramadol pills.

DUBAI // Tramadol pills worth Dh1 billion have been seized by customs officers at Jebel Ali Port.

More than 90 million pills were found hidden inside 1,695 cardboard boxes that had been imported from an unspecified Asian country, officers said yesterday.

The boxes were stored inside six containers that were marked as containing pharmaceutical and medical equipment.

They had been smuggled through a number of different routes in a bid to evade detection by customs.

But Saeed Al Tayer, senior director of the Jebel Ali cargo operations department, said officers became suspicious after noticing that a company at the Jebel Ali Free Zone was importing such a large amount of medical equipment.

Officers searched the company's warehouse and found the pills.

Mr Al Tayer praised the "vigilance and experience" of the customs officers involved in the operation.

The exact date of the raid is not known.

Tramadol is listed as a controlled medicine because it can generate effects similar to those of cocaine and is highly addictive.