Dubai: The Airport Operations Department at Dubai Customs has made 1,834 seizures at Dubai International Airport in 2012. The seizures included several prohibited and restricted items found in the possession of passengers arriving at the airport.
The majority of smugglers were males between the ages of 26 and 35.
The number of seizures is 15 per cent lower than the number for 2011, where there was 2,165 seizures.
Ali Al Maghawi, Director of Airport Operations Department at Dubai Customs said that these improved statistics reflect the good reputation of Dubai Customs worldwide in terms of foiling smugglers’ attempts.
Al Maghawi explained that the contraband items included drugs, sorcery and witchcraft items, fake goods, counterfeit bank notes and credit cards, antiques, endangered animals and plants, fake medicine, pornography, fake documents, jewellery, silver, diamonds, gold, precious stones and sharp-edged weapons.
There were 1,010 smugglers from Asia, 277 from Africa, 242 from Europe, 229 from North America, 62 from Australia and New-Zealand and 14 from Latin America, Al Maghawi said.
1,670 of the smugglers were male and 164 were female.
He added that the awareness campaigns led by Dubai Customs has helped spread awareness about the potential risks smuggling poses to health, the economy and the society in general.
There were 616 between the ages of 26 and 35. He added that 197 of the smugglers were aged 15-25, 556 were between 36-45, 330 were between 46-55, 130 were between 56-65 and 23 smugglers were above 65 years old.
The Director of Airport Operations Department at Dubai Customs said that the smugglers used different methods such as hiding items in their clothes, in their stomach, their luggage, their handbags and in their pockets. He said others brought in items in parcels, gloves, wallets, cartons, cigarettes packets and mobile phones.
Customs inspectors, he said are trained to identify narcotics and restricted goods, possible ways things can be smuggled into the country. They are also trained in the latest inspection and examination techniques.