Abu Dhabi: In their efforts to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking, the Ministry of Interior announced that the UAE recently helped the Yemeni government recover 11 tonnes of hashish.

On the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the Department of Drug Prevention and Media Department of Abu Dhabi Police joined hands with the ministry to help combat drug abuse and trafficking.

Both the police and the ministry started drug combat campaigns on Thursday.

Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili, Acting Deputy Director in the Ministry of Interior, said the campaign will include conferences and meetings for youth in co-ordination with the Ministry of Education, where the dangers related to drugs and how it affects the brain will be highlighted.

Various booklets to help in drug combat, and application forms to fill out regarding drug abuse, will be available at an exhibition in the Abu Dhabi Commercial Centre.

Visual appeal

A display of 52 pictures of drug addicts opened on June 24 and will continue till tomorrow at the Cultural Foundation.

According to Law 14, Article 43 (1995), "no punishment will be imposed on drug addicts asking for help, admitting their addiction or requesting to be rehabilitated".

When Gulf News asked for clarification regarding the law, Brigadier General Abdullah Ali Al Bedewi, Deputy Director of Security Department at Ministry of Interior, specified that "the law is applicable to all citizens in the UAE, expatriates and Emiratis. In other words, if an expatriate admits he's addicted to drugs, the government will either place him in a rehabilitation centre in the UAE or send him to his hometown".

Al Bedewi also confirmed that more rehabilitation centres would be built across the capital, since the ministry's motive is not only a national one, but also an international one. There are currently five rehabilitation centres across the UAE, one in Sharjah, two in Dubai and two in Abu Dhabi.

"Last year the UAE took part in 2,500 drug cases in Holland, which shows that our aim is to help eradicate the problem on an international level. Smugglers are trying to outsmart nations all the time, and we are doing our best to co-operate on an international level to catch as much smugglers as possible. We recently caught drugs being smuggled through an cable wire, that's how far they would go to smuggle a drug," said Al Bedewi.