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The first-of-its-kind mobile van that can detect banned substances Image Credit: Anwar Ahmad

Abu Dhabi: The UAE Federal Customs Authority (FCA) will launch a first-of-its-kind mobile van to detect drugs, explosives and other banned substances on people on the move on highways, along the borders and inside cities on February 26, an official from the authority told Gulf News on Sunday.

The van, which is fitted with special metal and luggage detectors, can detect illegal substances and drugs being carried by smugglers, irrespective of where they may be within the country.

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The van is equipped with sophisticated body and luggage scanners Image Credit: Anwar Ahmad

Speaking to Gulf News at the FCA stand at the Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference (UMEX), which is underway at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in the capital, Mustafa Amin, senior monitoring officer at the authority, said, “This van will be in operation from February 26 [after the exhibition ends] and will be sent to different locations, including local customs and border check points of the country when and where required.”

He said, “The van is equipped with a body scanner, conventional luggage scanner and drugs and explosive detection units, besides fake currency and document detectors.” The vehicle is capable of detecting radiation and chemicals components.

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A Federal Customs Authority official at the UMEX exhibition in Abu Dhabi explains how the new technology works a Image Credit: Anwar Ahmad

Currently, the mini mobile van is being showcased at UMEX.

“Of late, this is the first mobile inspection van we have and the borders are our first target, but it will be sent anywhere we need it. We selected a small van so that it can access all kinds of localities and places,” Amin said.


Sharjah Customs also showcased the first-of-its-kind radiation detector machine at the FCA stand at Umex in Abu Dhabi. It can inspect all kinds of natural, chemical, biological and environmental radiations through a small gadget.

Talking to Gulf News, Abdullah Al Shamsi, senior assistant customer officer at the Sharjah Seaports and Customs, said, “This machine can accurately tell the type of radiation. We can get to know whether the radiation is of a biological or chemical nature and take action accordingly.”