Cooperation between different customs departments and good planning have led to thwarting an attempt to smuggle large number of Captagon pills at Jebel Ali & Tecom Customs Center, just a few days before 2019 unfolds.
The illegal shipment was tracked by customs intelligence personnel who shared the information and images of the shipment through the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO).
The Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) is a regional centre for collecting and analyzing data, which also disseminates information throughout the global customs network. As a fundamental pillar of the World Customs Organization (WCO)’s Enforcement Strategy, Intelligence and Information Exchange is facilitated through eleven (11) RILOs covering the six (6) regions of the WCO.
The RILO informed of a drug shipment in a nearby country, and by analyzing and comparing the data, the team at Jebel Ali & TECOM Customs Center decided to track similar shipment coming into Dubai in a container that had vehicle spare parts from a country that doesn’t normally trade with spare parts. The container was tracked through the smart Vessel Tracking System, developed by Dubai Customs.
The container was scanned, and with the help of the customs K-9 Dog unit, 5 million Captagon pills that weighed 500 kg were seized. This raises the number of Captagon pills seized since January 2018 to 15 million pills.
Jebel Ali & TECOM Customs Center has made 19 seizures between 2016 and 2019. These included 225 million narcotic pills and 51 kg of other drugs.
Commenting on the seizure, Director of Dubai Customs Ahmed Mahboob Musabih pointed out all customs departments work and coordinate together to combat illegitimate trade and thwart any narcotic drugs smuggling attempt.
“We are vigilant and well prepared to all attempts of bringing these illegal contrabands into the UAE through Dubai entry points. The high sophisticated level that Dubai Customs reached in terms of infrastructure, equipment and the skills of their customs officers have led to more control over the emirate’s entry points and borders following the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai” says Musabih.
Shuaib Al Suwaidi, Customs Intelligence Director at Dubai Customs revealed they track shipments on their way to Dubai’s entry points based on numerous data and intelligence resources.
Captagon was first manufactured in 1961. It stimulates the central nervous system, increases alertness, boosts concentration and physical performance, and provides a feeling of well-being. It was earlier prescribed to treat narcolepsy and depression, but the medical community determined that Captagon’s addictive properties outweighed its clinical benefits in 1980.
It was then banned in several countries, particularly after it was found, as is the case with long-term amphetamine users, to lead to extreme depression, malnutrition, heart and blood vessel toxicity, and sleep deprivation.