Abu Dhabi Police arrested four African transit passengers on charges of trying to smuggle 18 kilogrammes of cocaine through Abu Dhabi Airport in four separate cases this year.
The smugglers used different methods to mislead customs officers by hiding the drugs in cosmetics cases, shampoo bottles, and secret compartments inside their suitcases or by swallowing drug-filled capsules.
Suspects confessed to the smuggling attempts in order to make financial gain. (Supplied)
Colonel Dr. Rashid Mohammad Borshid, Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Abu Dhabi Police GHQ, explained that the arrested suspects were all taking the same suspicious flight course, whereas similar arrests were made involving individuals flying in from Latin America via the Abu Dhabi International Airport to a different number of destinations.
According to Colonel Dr. Borshid, the suspects showed heightened signs of confusion and discomfort while they were in the transit hall at the airport, which aroused the suspicion of the authorities at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
“The suspects were submitted to a body scan via the airport’s drug detection devices, which revealed the hidden drug capsules inside their stomach,” he continued.
Colonel Dr. Borshid reiterated the Abu Dhabi Police’s commitment to providing the proper training for its anti-narcotics personnel according to the highest standards. “This would reinforce anti-narcotics personnel’s ability to identify all types of drugs and illegal substances and enable them to foil the most common smuggling attempts, regardless of the concealment method.
Adding further, Colonel Dr. Borshid said: “When questioned, the suspects confessed to the smuggling attempts in order to make financial gain.
“The suspects and confiscated drugs were referred to the public prosecution for further investigation.”
For his part, Colonel Sultan Suwayeh Al Darmaki, Chief of the Anti-Drug Section at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), elaborated on the details of the four incidents. He said: “The four suspects were arrested separately in the Abu Dhabi International Airport, thanks to the vigilance of the police officers, who became suspicious of them, as they walked through the transit area showing signs of “confusion and discomfort”.
“The anti-narcotics officers spotted the four smugglers in the transit hall, and asked for their passports, then subjected their luggage to scanning devices, which revealed the concealed stash.
“In another instance, after being subjected to a body scan, one of the suspects was found with a stash of drug-filled capsules in his stomach,” he said.
Colonel Al Darmaki also noted that heightened vigilance, competence and expertise coupled with a strong sense of security are key features of anti-narcotics officers as they endeavor to uncover and foil any attempts to smuggle drugs, regardless of the concealment method.
Colonel Al Darmaki emphasised that the Abu Dhabi Police fully depend on national cadres in the fight against drugs.
To this end, the police are constantly qualifying staff members by enrolling them in training programs, led by highly qualified trainers, in order to boost their skills and allow them to successfully foil any attempts at smuggling drugs, as part of the MoI’s vision to maintain the security of society.