Fighting the drug battle
The UAE is taking measures to curb drug trafficking in the country.
September 8, 2009 12:41 by Aarti Nagraj
The GCC General Secretariat has announced plans on Monday to set up a major center to combat drug trafficking in the region. The center’s role will be to create strategies to prevent drug trade in the future and to put a stop to transactions of dirty money in the region.
“This regional center, called Gulf Center for Criminal Intelligence, is being set up with the help of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),” said a statement released by the GCC General Secretariat. Its headquarters will be located in Doha, and will be staffed by representatives from all the six Gulf States.
“This regional office will be operational early next year,” said a spokesman for the authority.
The UAE has become a major exporting and trans-shipping area for highly addictive drugs, such as heroin and amphetamines, according to a report released by the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board in February. However, the country has been taking several steps to tackle drug trafficking.
Most drug offences in the country lead to a jail term of at least four years, but smuggling with intent to distribute carries a 10 year sentence along with a fine of AED50,000. Narcotics trading can lead to a life sentence or even the death penalty in some severe cases.
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