Dubai: More than 3,200 sharp-edged weapons and laser pointers were seized from travellers and visitors coming to the country through Dubai International Airport in the past 15 months, a spokesman for Dubai Customs said on Sunday. The figures represent a sharp increase from the year before, according to the same source who warned that illegal items have become more fashionable than ever before.
The items were confiscated from all three terminals, as part of Dubai Customs’ efforts to protect society against infiltration of locally and internationally prohibited and restricted items.
Ali Al Maghawi, Director of Airport Operations Department at Dubai Customs, said the seized items included laser pointers, swords, knives, daggers, batons, metal sticks, among others.
He added that 2,526 illegal items were seized at the airport in 2012, of which 1,888 were laser pointers and 638 were sharp-edged weapons.
As for the first quarter of 2013, 682 items were seized, of which 515 were laser pointers and 167 were sharp-edged weapons.
The items were found with travellers of different ages and nationalities and were hidden in their luggage and personal belongings.
He noted that the alertness of Dubai Customs inspectors prevented their entry into the country and protected the community from the deadly consequences of their use, especially by youth and juveniles, who are indifferent to their own as well as others’ safety and do not abide by the laws prohibiting their possession or use.
Al Maghawi added that Dubai Customs has stringent measures in place to prevent crimes involving such weapons by foiling attempts to smuggle these through all ports, which is their responsibility as the first line of defence for the society.
Dubai Customs equips all ports with latest inspection and examination devices that help inspectors perform their duties well and protect the society. They also invest in its human force, most importantly, its customs inspectors, by choosing them well and honing their skills through regular training courses in inspection procedures, such as identification of prohibited materials, seizure procedures and dealing with passengers.