x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

More than 3,000 weapons seized by customs officials at Dubai Airport

Swords, batons and laser pointers among the weapons seized in the last 15 months.

Inspectors say the weapons were recovered from people of all ages and nationalities with many trying to smuggle the items by concealing them in luggage and personal belongings.
Inspectors say the weapons were recovered from people of all ages and nationalities with many trying to smuggle the items by concealing them in luggage and personal belongings.

DUBAI // Daggers, swords, batons and laser pointers were among 3,200 weapons seized by customs officials at Dubai International Airport in the past 15 months.

Inspectors say the weapons were recovered from people of all ages and nationalities with many trying to smuggle the items by concealing them in luggage and personal belongings.

They were seized at all three airport terminals.

"The alertness of Dubai Customs inspectors prevented their entry into the country and shielded the community from the deadly consequences of their use," said Ali Al Maghawi, director of Airport Operations Department at Dubai Customs.

Many of the weapons belonged to youths and "juvenile delinquents" who were breaking rules by possessing the weapons and putting theirs and other people's safety at risk, he said.

Other weapons seized included ceremonial-style daggers and iron sticks.

In all, 2,526 weapons were seized at the airport during 2012, of which 1,888 were laser pointers and 638 were bladed weapons.

During the first quarter of this year 682 items have been recovered, including 515 laser pointers and 167 white weapons, which describes any none firearm weapon such as batons, sticks or knives.

Mr Al Maghawi said Dubai Customs was determined to prevent these weapons being smuggled into the country.

"Dubai Customs exerts stringent efforts to prevent crimes involving bladed weapons by foiling attempts to smuggle these weapons through all customs ports," he said.

This was is in line with its role and key responsibility as the first defence line for society, he said.

"Dubai Customs will always live up to its reputation and fulfil its responsibility to the community.

"Dubai Customs invests in its human force, most importantly its customs inspection cadre, by choosing them well and honing their skills through regular training courses in specialised inspection procedures, identification of prohibited materials, seizure procedures and dealing with passengers," he said.

"The department equips all customs ports with the latest inspection and examination devices that help inspectors perform their duties to the fullest."

nhanif@thenational.ae