x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dubai customs seize four million Tramadol pills worth Dh40 million

Customs officers foil attempt to smuggle four million Tramadol tablets through Jebel Ali port.

Dubai Customs foils bid to smuggle 4.2 million Tramadol pills into the UAE.
Dubai Customs foils bid to smuggle 4.2 million Tramadol pills into the UAE.

DUBAI // Customs officers seized Tramadol pills worth Dh40 million at Jebel Ali port during a recent raid.

The stash was discovered after a tip-off that a container arriving from an unnamed Asian country contained four million of the pills - which have a street value of about Dh10 each - as well as other, undisclosed prescription drugs.

Officers became suspicious of one such container that belonged to a food and beverage company as an uncommon packaging method had been used. Despite denials from a company representative that it contained any illegal substances, they referred the container for a closer inspection. While an X-ray scanner found nothing, a manual search discovered the Tramadol pills along with a further 50 million pills that, while not banned, were described as "not licensed" by the Ministry of Health.

A representative of the food and beverage company has been referred to the public prosecution.

Customs did not disclose the exact date of the seizure, but revealed it was the second largest Tramadol bust this year. In the biggest seizure, reported in May, officers seized 91 million tablets worth almost Dh1 billion also in sea cargo that had arrived in Jebel Ali Port from an Asian country.

wissa@thenational.ae