Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

Dubai sniffer dogs credited with 5 million pill drug seizure

A customs K-9 unit detected the huge haul of Captagon in a container at Jebel Ali port

Dubai Customs seizes 5.7 million Captagon pills
Dubai Customs seizes 5.7 million Captagon pills

Dubai Customs has seized more than 5.7 million Captagon pills at Jebel Ali Port.

The drugs were hidden in a foodstuff container arriving through the Jebel Ali and Tecom Customs Centre.

Police did not name the Arab state the container had been shipped from. But Syrian drug gangs have been implicated in the manufacture and smuggling of Captagon to the Gulf.

The container was scanned, and with the help of the customs K-9 Dog unit, dozens of parcels were seized.

The pills are estimated to have a street value of about Dh50 million.

Dubai Customs' director-general Ahmed Mahboob Musabih said law enforcement agencies are working together to combat the smuggling of narcotics.

"We are vigilant and well prepared to all attempts of bringing these illegal contrabands into the UAE through Dubai entry points," he told state news agency Wam.

Captagon was initially produced in the 1960s as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder but was later banned in the 1980s due to its highly addictive nature. While commercial manufacturing of the drug has ceased, illegal manufacturing practices continue, combining several highly addictive stimulants that compound the destructive effects of the amphetamine and theophylline co-drug combination.

This latest bust by Dubai Customs raises the amount of Captagon seized to 10.715 million tablets in a four-month period.

In November 2014, Dubai declared one of its biggest drug busts when three Syrian men were caught trying to smuggle more than 17 million pills of the same drug through Jebel Ali Port.

Updated: May 4, 2019 04:51 PM

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