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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Drugs, alcohol and counterfeit goods seized by Abu Dhabi customs

Officers also catch dozens of people trying to enter UAE illegally

Two truck drivers are caught trying to smuggle three illegal immigrants into the UAE at the Mezyad Customs Centre in Al Ain. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Customs
Two truck drivers are caught trying to smuggle three illegal immigrants into the UAE at the Mezyad Customs Centre in Al Ain. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Customs

Drugs, alcohol and other contraband were among the thousands of items seized by Abu Dhabi customs officers during the first half of this year.

Mohammed Al Hameli, acting director-general of the department, said there were 333 separate attempts to smuggle drugs into the country.

Officers also caught 35 people attempting to cross the borders illegally.

He said increased vigilance and a knowledge of criminals' methods makes attempts less likely to succeed.

More than 23,000 individual pills and almost 15,000 kgs of cocaine, opium, marijuana and other drugs were seized. Most drug smuggling attempts were made at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

In one case, customs inspectors became suspicious of a traveller who had arrived from an unspecified Arab country. The 28-year-old woman’s belongings were examined and 398 illegal tablets were found hidden in medicine packets.

Another traveller was found with 46g of marijuana hidden in his shoes.

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Read more:

'Illegal immigrants' caught by customs officials in Al Ain

UAE customs find children as young as 11 used as drug mules for smuggling

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Inspectors at the airport also caught a 42-year-old man travelling from North America with 31g of cocaine hidden inside dry batteries and medicine boxes.

There were also 80 recorded attempts to smuggle counterfeit goods, and 34 were thwarted at the Ghuwaifat border with Saudi Arabia.

Using radiation detectors, inspectors at Ghuwaifat also stopped a truck carrying two people hiding in secret compartments in a bid to enter the country illegally.

Some of the biggest seizures were of alcohol. Half of seizures were made at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

In another instance, a truck carrying metal tubes was found with 7,439 bottles of alcohol hidden inside.

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