Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 26 April 2019

Dubai Customs thwart more than 900 smuggling bids

Offenders are adopting more and more unusual methods to sneak illegal items into the UAE

A Dubai customs officer with confiscated drugs
A Dubai customs officer with confiscated drugs

Drugs found stashed in stereo speakers and even a bag of nuts were among nearly 1,000 smuggling bids foiled by Dubai Customs in the first nine months of the year.

Customs officials prevented 922 separate efforts to bring illicit items into the UAE, with 355 of those cases involving narcotics and contraband goods, new figures have revealed.

In one instance, Dubai International Airport customs officials confiscated 25.5 kg of marijuana hidden inside loudspeakers in a passenger’s suitcase.

In another case, customs officials also found 6,720 Lyrica tablets hidden inside in bags of nuts.

“We facilitate trade and traffic of passengers without compromising on the security of borders and entry points, and with the growing number of passengers and air shipping in the last number of years we continue to have full control on all our checkpoints,” said Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, director of Dubai Customs.

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He said that the UAE has spent billions to strengthen its infrastructure against smugglers.

"There are challenges facing customs authorities in all countries that have key strategic locations. Dubai is not an exception,” he said.

Ibrahim Al Kamali, director of Passenger Operations at Dubai Customs, revealed the passenger operations department checked around 30.2 million suitcases between January and September 2018.

“Dubai International Airport deals with a large number of passengers annually. Around 74.5 million passengers used the airport in the first 10 months of 2018, which means 248,000 passengers a day,” he said.

“These passengers hail from different backgrounds, and they all deserve a good warm welcome.”

During the first nine months of 2018, three counterfeiting and 275 customs duties evasion cases were recorded.

"Thanks to our inspectors’ vigilance we are in full control of all checkpoints. Our inspection officers receive the best training on body language and identifying different types of drugs, as well as being able to distinguish fake brands from genuine ones," Al Kamali said.

Updated: December 29, 2018 03:06 PM

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