Dubai Customs officers foil nearly 1,000 drug smuggling attempts in four months

Captagon pills, crystal meth, heroin, marijuana, and opium comprised most of the haul seized by officers in the emirate from January to April

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Dubai Customs officers thwarted nearly one thousand attempts to smuggle narcotics into the emirate in the first four months of the year, the force said on Monday.

Captagon pills, crystal meth, heroin, marijuana, and opium were the drugs most commonly seized from January to April.

A total of 936 attempts to smuggle drugs, including 222 at the main airports, were foiled.

This is a large increase of 378 from the same period in 2021.

Included in the seizures were 42 kilograms of marijuana hidden inside a bag of dried hot peppers by an African passenger, and 955 grams of heroin which a passenger had swallowed in 97 capsules.

During the same period, customs officers at Jebel Ali Port caught smugglers attempting to conceal amphetamines in 2,968 boxes of coffee cream.

Officers at Inland Customs Centres dealt with a 1,465 per cent increase in the number of drug busts, surging from 32 in the first four months of 2021 to 501 this year.

They confiscated crystal meth on 10 occasions but the total amount of seized drugs was not released by authorities.

Elsewhere, the agency's Air Cargo Centres divison made 207 seizures and Sea Customs made six confiscations.

“Protecting the community is a major strategic goal in Dubai Customs and its five-year plan and we are giving this role a great priority in light of the increasing risks,” said Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, director general of Dubai Customs and chief executive of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.

He said Dubai Customs constantly updates and develops its systems and programmes to monitor suspicious shipments.

The department's latest system for scanning and inspecting containers can scan 160 lorries an hour, while its Siyaj programme, a border security enterprise, is updated regularly and uses the latest AI technology.

Updated: June 28, 2022, 3:41 AM