Dubai Customs inspectors are provided stringent training and awareness courses to be able to recognise the materials used in sorcery Image Credit: Courtesy: Dubai Customs

Dubai: Black magic practitioners and believers had a not-so magical experience lately when they were caught in the act of smuggling talismans and other items and sent to cool their heels in prison.

Dubai Customs inspectors at Dubai International Airport foiled 155 attempts at smuggling nearly 10,000 articles — weighing 97kg — associated with the practice of witchcraft and sorcery by international passengers.

Talking about witchcraft confiscations made by Dubai Customs, Ahmad Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs, said: “Practising sorcery and witchcraft is considered a dangerous epidemic threatening the security of the society as it works on manipulating people’s minds, exploiting their superstitions and ignorance to defraud these victims of large sums of money. Dubai Customs is committed to its corporate social responsibility through deterring all bids to smuggle prohibited materials into the country which form a threat to the security and safety of the local community.”

He pointed out that Dubai Customs’ inspectors are provided stringent training and awareness courses to be able to recognise these materials; their different types and shapes. “Smugglers often invent new methods trying to hoodwink customs officials. Upon arrival at the Customs’ zone in the airport, passengers’ baggage is inspected and screened using X-ray scanning devices. Both large luggage and handbags are then physically inspected by trained inspectors to make sure they contain no illicit imports,” he said.

Musabih underlined that “securing borders is the key. Once we tighten our grip on entry points, we can rest assured that no illegal items will infiltrate into the country. To further enhance national security, all government departments need to join hands and more awareness campaigns should be carried out in this matter.”

Ahmad Abdullah Bin Lahej, Dubai Customs’ Director of Passenger Programmes, noted that confiscated articles included talismans, amulets, beads, animal skins, sorcery knives, magic teaching books, bags containing fish skeletons, animal bones, ampoules full of blood and other liquids, animal drawings, strings, pieces of charcoal, finger rings, oysters, leaves, powders, cotton rolls used in sorcery, thread and some dark materials.

He added that materials used for sorcery, fraud and black magic are materials prohibited in the country consistent with the decree of the GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee, and added that practising sorcery and black magic is recognised as a crime that tarnishes the image of Islam and is punishable by law.