Dubai: Dubai Customs on Saturday revealed it prevented 922 smuggling attempts, including of 355 narcotics and contrabands, in the first nine months of 2018.
Ahmad Mahboob Musabih, director of Dubai Customs, said: “We facilitate trade and traffic of passengers without compromising security of borders and entry points, and with the growing number of passengers and air shipping volume in the last years, we continue to have full control on all our checkpoints.”
Customs officers at Dubai International Airport thwarted an attempt to smuggle 25.5kg of marijuana concealed inside loudspeakers in the passenger’s suitcase. Adequate training of inspection officers and their vigilance also prevented the smuggling of 6,720 ‘Lyrica’ pills skilfully concealed in bags containing nuts.
“There are challenges facing customs authorities in countries that have strategic locations. Dubai is not an exception,” Musabih said, adding that the emirate is strategically located between east and west and has spent billions of dirhams to develop its infrastructure, ports and airports.
“The emirate has also provided an unprecedented host of services and products including the iDeclare application, which significantly reduces passengers’ time needed to declare different belongings. These advanced services will facilitate passengers’ entry into the country, especially for visitors of Expo 2020.”
Ibrahim Al Kamali, director of passenger operations at Dubai Customs, revealed that the passenger operations department checked around 30.2 million suitcases between January and September 2018.
“Dubai International Airport deals with a large number of passengers annually. Around 74.5 million passengers used the airport in the first 10 months of 2018, which means 248,000 passengers a day. These passengers hail from different backgrounds, and they all deserve a good and warm welcome,” he said.
During the first nine months of 2018, three counterfeiting and 275 customs duties evasion cases were also recorded.
“Thanks to our inspectors’ vigilance, we are in full control of all checkpoints. Our inspection officers receive the best training on body language and different types of drugs, and how to distinguish fake brands from genuine ones.”