Man arrested at Dubai Airport over alleged attempt to smuggle 8.9kg of marijuana

Customs officials said passenger claimed the drugs were henna powder

A man was detained at Dubai International Airport over an alleged drug smuggling attempt. Photo: Dubai Customs
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A man has been arrested at Dubai International Airport on suspicion of smuggling 8.9kg of marijuana disguised as henna into the UAE.

Dubai Customs officers said they discovered the drugs when they spotted that the passenger's bag was unusually heavy.

A thorough search was conducted and officers seized plastic wraps containing what the man claimed was henna powder.

Ibrahim Al Kamali, director of passenger operations department at Dubai Customs, said the man showed signs of confusion when a body search was conducted.

The passenger, who arrived at Dubai Airport from an Asian country and whose identity was not disclosed, was arrested and now faces legal prosecution.

It was not revealed when the incident took place.

"Preventing the entry of harmful substances is our foremost priority at Dubai Customs," said Mr Al Kamali.

This is achieved through regular and extensive training of officers, and the use of the latest technology and scanning systems that can search objects and read the body language of passengers, he said.

Between January and September this year, Dubai Customs officers carried out 783 seizures, of which 540 were drug offences cases.

These included foiling a plot to smuggle 980kg of controlled drugs and other restricted medicine into the country. The haul has been valued at an estimated Dh6.2 million.

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

Dubai Customs also foiled two plots to smuggle more than 171,000 prescription pills used to treat depression, anxiety and epilepsy in August this year.

Officers seized 160kg of controlled drugs and other restricted medicine which were flown into Dubai.

More than 90,000 Cipralex pills, a medication used to alleviate depression and anxiety, stashed in three parcels were confiscated.

A further 175,000 capsules of the banned drug pregabalin, used to treat epilepsy as well as nerve pain, were also found.

Updated: March 28, 2024, 9:22 AM