Dubai Customs seize 171,000 prescription pills in two drug busts

Officers intercepted hauls of controlled medicines flown into the emirate

Dubai Customs have seized two major shipments totalling 171,600 pills in controlled drugs and restricted medications. Photo: Dubai Customs
Powered by automated translation

A Dubai Customs task force thwarted two drug plots aimed at smuggling more than 171,000 pills used to treat depression, anxiety and epilepsy into the country.

Officers seized 160kg of controlled drugs and other restricted medicine which were flown into emirate under the crackdown.

Enforcement teams confiscated 96,600 Cipralex pills, a medication used to alleviate depression and anxiety, stashed in three parcels in the first enforcement operation.

A further 75,000 capsules of the banned drug Pregabalin, used to treat epilepsy as well as nerve pain, were also found hidden in parcels in a second shipment.

The special tasks section at Dubai Customs' intelligence department intercepted the shipments received by air.

No further details on the operations were disclosed.

The confiscations were just the latest success for authorities leading the fight against criminal gangs bringing illicit products into Dubai.

In June, Customs officers at Dubai International Airport foiled a man’s attempt to smuggle 3.2kg of cocaine in his belt.

Inspectors became suspicious of the passenger shortly after he arrived from a Latin American country, but nothing illegal was found in his baggage.

The passenger's body was then scanned, and officers found drugs concealed in a compressed body belt. Officers said the man tried to avoid drawing attention to himself by having no metal about his body.

In April, Dubai Customs announced they had foiled an attempt to smuggle 880g of pure heroin through the emirate's main airport.

The authority Dubai said the drugs were hidden in an Asian traveller’s suitcase poles, laptop and shoes.

Updated: August 22, 2023, 11:03 AM