In one of the UAE’s largest seizures of its kind over the past five years, Dubai Customs foiled an attempt to smuggle a large haul of cocaine, weighing 171.2 kilograms, with a street value estimated at more than AED 200 million. The seized narcotics were found in a shipment of fresh bananas totalling 45 tons.
The consignment arrived at the Port of Jebel Ali in Dubai, and originated from a Latin American country via Europe. The illicit drugs were concealed the cocaine in boxes of fresh bananas.
Ahmed Al Kharusi, Director of Customs Intelligence Department at DC commented that the successful operation fall within Dubai Customs strategy to combat illicit trafficking and preserve the security and safety of the community, especially young people who need protection against the harmful toxin.
Al Kharusi pointed out that the huge confiscation was the fruit of the integrated, single-teamed efforts of various DC departments based on an effective risk analysis methodology. Whereby the Customs Intelligence Department collected and assessed intelligence data and conducted field monitoring with Jebel Ali Inspection Centre. The shipment was then suspected and immediately confiscated upon arrival at the port, thus foiling such large haul of drugs from being smuggled into the country.
Al Kharusi revealed that smugglers have resorted to a number of tactics to pass through customs inspection undetected, such as using sorcery items, adding extra lead on the container, painting narcotic bags with an organic substance to fool customs dogs, changing the shipping route to a European port then to Jebel Ali Port, instead of taking a direct route to Jebel Ali Port.
Nevertheless, the highly vigilant customs inspectors were able to deter all their tactics and thwart the smuggling operation, being the community’s first line of defence. The consignment was first exposed to the X-ray screening device, followed by a k-9 unit inspection. Moreover, the Dubai Customs Mobile Lab was summoned to analyse a sample of the suspicious substance, declaring it cocaine.The Director of Customs Intelligence Department at DC further noted that the seized narcotics, in the light of their volume and smuggling way, were intended for trafficking. Drug dealers tend to use holiday seasons to optimize their profit. However, customs inspectors will always stop them from getting their way.
Dubai Customs inspectors have the knowledge of materials incriminated by local legislation and international agreements, signed by the UAE, making them more competent in their line of duty.