21% rise compared to 2016
Dubai – 21 February 2018: Dubai Customs made 1,628 seizures during 2017 compared to 1,347 seizures in 2016, which means a 21% increase over 2016.The Department of Passenger Operations at the airport had the lion's share with 859 seizures, followed by Land Customs Centers Management with 699 seizures, Air Customs Centers Management with 58 seizures, Jebel Ali Customs Centers with 9 seizures, and Coastal Customs Centre Management with 3 seizures.
Intensive training to Dubai Customs officers and equipping the centers with the latest inspection equipment were among the reasons behind this achievement.
The “White Salt” seizure was a major seizure which shows alertness of Dubai Customs officers and reflects the importance of cooperation and coordination between the Department and the Ministry of Interior and Dubai Police. The smuggler concealed huge amounts of captagon pills in animal guts and wrapped them in salt. Screening detected different density in the barrels that carried the stuff. More than a ton of captagon pills were discovered.
Another contraband saw officers of Jebel Ali Customs Center seize 12 kg of opium. These were skillfully concealed in furniture pieces.
“Dubai is leading the way internationally in combating any attempts of smuggling to protect society from the hazards of drugs. Dubai Customs plays an essential role in this by continually developing its human capital according to the highest inspection standards, “said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation. “Being the first line of protection, Dubai Customs works hard to maintain security whilst supporting national economy towards a full realization of the objectives of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071 following the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai”.
He added:” Dubai Customs regulary updates its systems and inspection devices which helps Dubai International Airport top the world airports for 4 years in a row in terms of the number of international passengers (88.2m in 2017)”.
Commenting on this achievement, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs said that the seizures are a part of the efforts exerted by Dubai Customs to protect the society, economy and security of Dubai in particular and the UAE in general.
He pointed out that Dubai Customs works on achieving its strategic objectives by relying on qualified cadres, who are enrolled in training courses to enhance their capabilities.
In 2007 Dubai Customs inaugurated the customs K-9 Dog unit to support in drug detection efforts. The unit has 24 dogs trained on detecting different types of drugs. In 2017 alone this unit managed to foil 14 drug smuggling attempts.
“Dubai Customs was able to conduct a great deal of seizures thanks to the fruitful cooperation with relevant government partners,” said Musabih. “Our coordination with other security departments in the country helped with many of the seizures”.
He said that the Risk Engine, which was developed by Dubai Customs, made major contributions. Musabih said that the Risk Engine system is fed with information on cargo from many channels. The 100% in-house developed ‘Risk Engine' is a smart system connected to multiple channels of resources streamlining data on customs declarations of consignments and individuals as well. The system is managed by Dubai Customs Intelligence Department; and is responsible for profiling and analysing data in order to identify risks and intercept suspected consignments.
The system contributes to the expediting of clearing risk-free transactions, which in return gives Dubai Customs the luxury of catering eased and efficient services to its clients, facilitating legitimate trade and deterring potential illicit trade practices. Another innovation is Al Kashif Inspection Smart Vehicle, the first of its kind in the world. The cart is equipped with 16 devices, making it capable of detecting various narcotics, inflammable and radioactive materials, and explosives. The eco-friendly golf buggy can also analyse medication samples in seven minutes. Dubai Customs regularly updates its officers with the different types of narcotics and trains them on how best to do their job, and this includes courses in body language and communication skills.
Abdullah Mohammed Al Khaja, Executive Director of Clients Management Division said that the biggest challenge that Dubai Customs faced and overcame in the previous years was how to strike the balance between facilitating passenger and goods traffic and at the same time prevention of smuggling attempts.