A total of 421 drug smuggling bids were foiled across Dubai’s various land, sea and air ports of entry in the first three months of 2019. The top narcotics seized were tramadol, captagon, opium, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, cannabis seeds, khat, and other drugs.
This was announced by Dubai Customs on the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking observed annually on 26th June.
The biggest illegal drug seizure of Q1 2019 took place at the Jebel Ali Customs Centres in a case where an attempt to smuggle 5.715 million captagon pills was foiled. The Airport Passenger Operations foiled 269 drug smuggling bids, while the Land Customs Centres thwarted 98, with 50 more seizures taking place at the Air Customs Centres, and three in the Coastal Customs Centres.
Last year, Dubai Customs foiled 1,105 narcotics smuggling attempts.
"The major challenge facing us at Dubai Customs is to find the perfect balance between facilitating the movement of huge volumes of trade and passengers coming through Dubai and protecting the local society against the perils of smuggling. Thanks to our targeting and risk mitigation model, we are able to meet that challenge with great efficiency," said Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs.
Dubai Customs has launched a number of initiatives and systems to support its inspectors and facilitate legitimate trade, including the Smart Risk Engine, which is connected to multiple channels of resources streamlining data on customs declarations of consignments and individuals.
The Ship and Trip Smart Tracking System helps customs personnel track goods by air and sea to assist in better risk management and operations efficiency.
Dubai Customs launched a new disruptive berthing service for vessels using the Dubai Creek, Khor Dubai, and the Smart Vessel Berthing System, to help vessels load and unload their goods with the help of an advanced AI-based service.
Dubai Customs also launched the "iDeclare" application, which enables passengers coming to Dubai to declare their belongings, if needed, in only five minutes, rather than the previous 45 minutes.
Abdullah Mohammed Al Khaja, Executive Director of the Customer Management Division, reaffirmed the important role Dubai Customs inspectors play in securing the borders and protecting the society from illicit drugs, thanks to their dedication and vigilance.