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More than 6,000 smuggling bids foiled.

Abu Dhabi: Around 6,435 attempts to smuggle illegal substances into the UAE through the various customs ports in the emirate of Abu Dhabi were foiled during the first half of 2015.

The Department of Finance -- Abu Dhabi (DoF), represented by the General Administration of Customs, Abu Dhabi, announced today (Saturday) that a total of 6,596 illegal substances were identified, including the smuggling of drugs, diesel, prescription drugs, tobacco and other contraband items. Illegal immigration attempts were also foiled

Mezyad Customs Centre recorded the largest number of seizures, which amounted to 1,447 illegal substances, followed by Abu Dhabi Central Post Customs Centre with 1,425, Al Ain Central Post Customs Centre with 914, Al Ain International Airport Customs Centre with a total of 839, and Madheef Customs Centre with 658.

Hamad Al Hurr Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the Department of Finance -- Abu Dhabi, said that they have adopted the best specialised programmes and systems in the field of customs. "The department coordinates with various government entities to maintain the security of our homeland by halting cross-border illegal trade risks that negatively affect the community and the local economy."

He said the department always improve its inspectors' skills through the adoption of the latest inspection devices and systems available to combat smuggling attempts and commercial fraud.

Illegal drugs

The customs centres in Abu Dhabi recorded 130 smuggling attempts of illegal drugs, which amounted to 47.53kg and over two million narcotic pills and substances, including cocaine, opium, marijuana, hashish, poppy seeds, tramadol, captagon and other narcotics. Most of these smuggling attempts were recorded in Abu Dhabi International Airport Customs Centre with 51 attempts, followed by Al Ghuwaifat Customs Centre with 50 attempts. The most notable illegal drug smuggling attempts are: Abu Dhabi International Airport Customs Centre's inspectors suspected a passenger travelling into the emirate from a Latin American country. The inspectors subjected the 50-year-old African passenger to further inspection and found 1.9kg of cocaine hidden in 25 cosmetic boxes in his luggage.

Illegal Immigration

The General Administration of Customs officials foiled 23 illegal immigration attempts across Abu Dhabi customs centres, stopping 30 people of different nationalities from entering the country illegally. Madheef Customs Centre recorded the largest number of illegal immigrations, which amounted to 12, followed by Al Hili Customs Centre with four, Mezyad Customs Centre with three and four different attempts were recorded in both Al Ghuwaifat and Khatam Al Shakla Customs Centres.

Commercial fraud

The department foiled 63 attempts of commercial fraud including non-disclosure of goods, as well as manipulating product weights and country of origin, invoices, details and container numbers.

Money smuggling

The department foiled 11 money smuggling attempts, with six attempts at Abu Dhabi International Airport Customs Centre, four at Al Ghuwaifat Customs Centre, and one attempt at Al Hili Customs Centre.

The most significant money smuggling attempts are;

Alcohol: The department foiled 44 alcohol smuggling attempts, 16 in Madheef Customs Centre, 12 at Al Hili Customs Centre, six at Khatam Al Shakla Customs Centre and four at Mezyad Customs Centre. The remaining alcohol seizure attempts were recorded in Abu Dhabi International Airport Customs Centre, Abu Dhabi Central Post Customs Centre, Al Ain International Airport Customs Centre, Al Ghuwaifat Customs Centre and Khalifa Port Customs Centre.

Tobacco: The customs centres in Abu Dhabi recorded 570 tobacco smuggling attempts, which included eight cases of cigarette smuggling and 562 for tobacco. Mezyad Customs Centre recorded the largest number of tobacco smuggling attempts, with 434 attempts.

Prescription drugs: The department foiled 1,217 smuggling attempts of drugs that can only be prescribed by a medical practitioner, expired drugs and drugs greater than the quantity authorised. Most of the attempts occurred through Al Ain International Airport Customs Centre with 688 attempts, followed by Abu Dhabi Central Post Customs Centre with 286 attempts, 136 in Al Ain Central Post Customs Centre and 51 in Madheef Customs Centre along with the other customs centres.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 6, 2015
Words:670
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