NAT 200205 AD DRUGS-1580906090553
40-kg of marijuana seized by customs in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Abu Dhabi Customs

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Customs have foiled an attempt to smuggle 40 kilogrammes of marijuana through Abu Dhabi Airport, officials said on Wednesday. During the manual inspections by custom officials, 80 packets containing marijuana were found in two bags.

The marijuana was wrapped in plastic and each bag contained 10 packets.

There has been a number of major drug hauls in the country in recent months. On January 4, the Abu Dhabi Police said it seized 1.5 tonnes of banned drugs and 1.2 million narcotic pills in separate operations over the past year in the emirate.

On June 19 last year, the police confiscated 423 kg of heroin and crystal drugs. The drugs were hidden in vehicle parts and the police arrested 12 Asians of the drug gang from different parts of the country and recovered the heroin and half-a-million capsules of Captagon.

Around 450kg drugs were seized in Abu Dhabi on November 16, 2019. A technical team of the police unearthed the drugs from inside a truck after cutting it up using an industrial cutting machine.

The Abu Dhabi Customs administration assigns senior and highly experienced inspectors to train and develop the skills of new inspectors in detecting prohibited substances and reading body language.

The administration said it continues to play a vital role in protecting the security of the state and ensuring the safety of its citizens and residents.

Cannabis: a growing industry

According to a report, cannabis is the United States’ largest cash crop and “a pervasive and ineradicable part of the national economy”. A 2015 report stated that it was the fastest growing industry in the United States. The industry in the United States is expected to grow from $2 billion in 2014 to an estimated $35 billion in 2020.

Recent drugs hauls in the UAE 

  • January 4, 2020: 1.5 tonnes of banned drugs and 1.2 million narcotic pills seized in separate operations in Abu Dhabi
  • November 16, 2019: 450 kg of drugs hidden inside a truck seized in Abu Dhabi
  • October 22, 2019: Dubai Customs say they confiscated 1,129 kg of cocaine and 16,800 banned e-cigarettes during the first half of 2019.
  • August 19, 2019: Dubai Police seize 648kg of illegal drugs and block 20 websites involved in the trafficking and sale of drugs
  • August 4, 2019: Dubai Customs seize 274,000 Captagon pills hidden in a vessel
  • June 19, 2019: 423 kg of heroin and crystal drugs seized in Abu Dhabi
  • May 13, 2019: 16 people arrested in Dubai, 365 kg of drugs seized