x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai dhow drug smugglers caught in Deira raid

Dubai Customs officers raided the wooden ship, which was carrying vegetables, and found opioids in pellet form wrapped in bedrolls in the commander's cabin.

DUBAI // Almost 2kg of illegal drugs were discovered hidden on board a dhow docked in a UAE port.

Dubai Customs officers raided the wooden ship, which was carrying vegetables, and found opioids in pellet form wrapped in bedrolls in the commander's cabin, according to a statement from the authority.

The statement did not say which types of opioids were found. The class of drug can range from the narcotic opium, or derivative painkillers like codeine, which are legal in other countries but tightly controlled in the UAE.

The raid took place at Al Hamriyah Port, in Deira.

"This successful seizure operation shall be added to Dubai Customs' history of successful thwarted rackets," a statement from the authority said.

"Dubai Customs inspectors demonstrated high security sense and efficiency. Dubai Customs is always keen to provide the latest training programmes to its customs officials who have shown perfect capabilities.

"Inspection teams are regularly trained on techniques, methods and ways of smuggling and they receive training courses on identifying goods which belong to lists of prohibited and restricted goods."

Butti al Zafri, director of Coastal Customs Centres, said the authority used the most advanced equipment to screen and process goods entering the country.

The crew of the ship were arrested, and have been transferred to the custody of Dubai Police.

mcroucher@thenational.ae