Dubai Customs leads international efforts to foil a bid to smuggle 65Kg narcotics

2013-06-16 13:23:59
WAM DUBAI, June 16th, 2013 (WAM) — Dubai Customs have led international efforts to foil a bid to smuggle about 65 kg of narcotics seized at Istanbul Airport in Turkey from a passenger arriving from Islamabad who tried to mislead customs authorities in both Dubai and Istanbul.
Ali Al Maqahwi, Director of Airport Operations at Dubai Customs, revealed the details of the seizure, saying that customs officers at Dubai International Airport became suspicious when three bags on the baggage carousel from a flight arriving from Islamabad remained uncollected by any passenger.
As part of on-going cooperation with relevant authorities at Dubai Airports and following further investigation, the owner of the bags was identified as an Arab national.
The information revealed that the passenger had proceeded to the transit lounge and bought a new ticket to Istanbul, requesting the transfer of his baggage to the same flight, arousing customs inspectors’ doubts about the contents of the bags.
When the bags were scanned, the images showed an amount of pills which turned out to be Clonazepam, a drug listed as a narcotic with psychotropic properties, which is a prohibited product similar to other kinds of dangerous narcotics.
As part of the joint cooperation and coordination between Dubai Customs and Anti-Drugs General Administration at Dubai Police Headquarters, a controlled delivery for the three bags was put into effect, and the information about the passenger and his bags was passed to the competent authorities in Turkey for further inspection and processing.
The passenger failed to travel to Istanbul on the same flight as his bags, taking the next flight in a bid to confuse customs officers at Istanbul Airport. The bags and information about their contents, however, preceded the passenger’s arrival.
As soon as the passenger completed entry and passport procedures and collected his bags, having been under close observation since arriving in the airport, he was arrested by the competent authorities for further legal action, according to a letter sent by Turkish authorities advising that the seized narcotic drugs amounted to almost 65 Kg of Clonazepam.
Al Maqahwi affirmed that Dubai Customs is keen to combat local and international smuggling of prohibited drugs, relying upon highly efficient personnel who are continuously trained on how to recognize all kinds of drugs and the methods of their smuggling and how to deal with such cases.
Al Maqahwi praised the cooperation of the strategic partners at Dubai International Airport, headed by Dubai Airports, DNATA and the Anti-Drug General Administration, in realizing such international achievement and foiling the smuggling attempt, lauding as well the alertness of Dubai Customs inspectors.
Clonazepam is the manufacturer’s name for the drug but it is known variously as Klonopin, Linotril, Rivotril, Clonex, Paxam, Petril or Kriadex. It is a drug used mainly for treating epilepsy, but can also be used as a counter-active for akinetic seizures, anxiety or panic disorder. The drug is classified as very dangerous in view of its strong composition and its use for longer terms can cause depression, loss of memory, hallucinations and increase in weight. Long term use can also generate dependency and withdrawal syndrome.
WAM/MZ/CM

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