As many as 421 attempts to smuggle in drugs to Dubai were foiled by the customs during the first quarter of this year, said a senior official.
Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs, said the drugs seized at various land, air and sea ports included tramadol, captagon, opium, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, cannabis seeds, khat and others.
“The biggest illegal drug seizure of the first quarter was reported in Jebel Ali Customs Centre, where an attempt to smuggle 5.7 million captagon pills was foiled.”
The airport passenger operations centre made 269 seizures, while land customs centres thwarted 98 drug smuggling bids, with 50 more seizures happening at air customs centres and three at coastal customs centres.
“Last year, Dubai Customs made 1,105 narcotic seizures, of which the land customs centres made 528 seizures. The airport passenger operations centre had foiled 467 drug smuggling bids while air customs centres made 91 drug seizures, coastal customs centres had 15 and Jebel Ali Customs Centre made four seizures.”
The largest drug hauls in 2018 included 10 million tramadol pills, five million captagon pills, 13kg of cocaine, and 26,000kg of cannabis seeds, he explained.
“All of these were seized by Jebel Ali Customs, while 268kg of drugs and 57,000 narcotic pills were seized at the Dubai airports, and 54kg of drugs were seized by coastal customs.”
I have personally seen the considerable efforts made by Dubai Customs top management and the Customs officers to constantly improve the risk and intelligence based controls and inspections.