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Fighting the drug battle
The UAE is taking measures to curb drug trafficking in the country.
September 8, 2009 12:41 by Aarti Nagraj
In January this year, the customs department launched a mobile laboratory to detect the entry of illegal substances into the country. The laboratory, the first of its kind in the UAE, is equipped with tools to detect different kinds of smuggled items including drugs and explosives. It also contains a telescope to examine narrow places and an external monitoring camera. The laboratory is connected to the Dubai Customs operations room, and sends regular reports and results electronically.
The Dubai Customs department has said that it made 190 drug seizures through air, sea and land ports between January and mid-June this year. “Although local and international efforts are being made to combat drug trafficking, there is a continuous conflict at international borders between security and customs authorities on one hand and smugglers on the other,” Mohammad Mattar Al Merri, executive director of Cargo Operations at Dubai Customs told Gulf News.
The Dubai Police also said in June this year that there was nearly a 15 percent increase in the number of people arrested on drug charges as compared with last year. Court officials said in April that drug crimes represent the largest number of cases processed at the city’s criminal court.
According to customs authorities, some of the methods used to smuggle drugs into Dubai include hiding them in human and animal intestines, between the pages of the Quran and in almonds.
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