DUBAI — Dubai Customs has seen an increase of 33 per cent in the number of drug seizures this year, according to a top official.
As many as 251 drug rackets have been busted in the first five months of this year as compared to 188 over the same period in 2009, Senior Manager of Passengers Operations at Dubai Customs, Ali Al Maqhawi told Khaleej Times on Saturday.
Celebrating International Day against Drugs, Dubai Customs invited Khaleej Times to an exclusive tour at Dubai International Airport and Dubai Cargo Village to know about the stern procedures adopted therein to ensure a drug free Dubai.
Maqhawi said Dubai Customs, in a bid to protect the society and support a smooth, yet legitimate trade, provides its inspectors with specialised training courses on a regular basis.
This is apart from the most sophisticated scanning gadgets available to detect and catch drugs and prohibited materials intended, be they intended for local use or re-export.
Maqhawi said customs’ ‘eagles’ arrested smugglers from 32 nationalities this year at Dubai’s land, sea and air entry points points. This include three women and 29 men.
Indicating that drug smugglers always use bizarre techniques in their dirty work, Maqhawi said Dubai Customs’ diligent and highly qualified staffers are fully alert to curb down all their weird attempts.
Smugglers try numerous ways in concealing the drugs; sometimes in their luggage, clothes, wallets, socks, hand bags, shoes, cigarettes, underwear, and even in their inner guts, but to no avail, he said. Narcotics were also found in postal parcels, cargo, electronic gadgets, paintings, vases, and even inside the wooden walls of ships.
Added to this, Maqhawi said different types of drugs were confiscated this year. These include cocaine, opium, hashish, Yemeni qat, cannabis, marihuana seeds, heroin, morphine and crystal methamphetamine.
Recently, Dubai Customs foiled a bid to smuggle some seven million duplicated pills valued at Dh70 million, along with attempts to smuggle 7kg of cocaine, 2.5kg of hashish, 1kg of opium, 651.5gm of heroin, 72 crystal methamphetamine capsules, 102 capsules of heroine, and 2kg of cannabis to an European destination.
27 June 2010,
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