UAE to start ‘intelligent ports’ program in 2013

To combat smuggling of drugs and other banned materials

The UAE will begin implementing the ‘intelligent ports’ programme next year to detect drugs and other contraband smuggled into the country in cargo and passenger baggage, according to Dr Hatem Fouad Ali, head of the UN office in UAE to combat drugs.

Dr Hatem said the ‘intelligent ports’ programme is still in the computer simulation stage.

He revealed this during a seminar on ‘Smart Technology for Border Security’ organized by the Department of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai on Monday. The seminar was attended by a number of international experts in the field of border security.

Dr Hatem said, under an agreement between the UN and UAE, officers at airport, sea ports and land border crossings will be trained in the use of electronic devices to detect prohibited things.

He said sea port officers will be trained to read shipping logs and itineraries and to co-ordinate with other port authorities. He said there is a plan to set up an electronic network for exchange of information between ports. Officers will also be trained to read ‘body language’ and speed reading documents carried by travellers.

Major General Khamis Mattar Alemsenah, Deputy Commander in Chief of Dubai Police, said that the biggest challenge for officers is balancing the completion of security procedures with quick and smooth movement of people and cargo. He said efficiency of the security services depends on security information and not on random searches.

Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of the Department of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, said  more than one million passengers passed smoothly through Dubai International Airport last July.

Dubai Police statistics show that the number of people caught for violating UAE’s residency laws had fallen from 2083 in 2010 to 1288 in 2011.
 

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