DUBAI, 30th June, 2020 (WAM) — Dubai Customs joined the world in observing the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which is observed on 26th June every year.
The government organisation held a regional interactive workshop under the auspices of Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs, which aimed for more knowledge and experience exchange, and more cooperation in fighting illicit trafficking.
The Federal Customs Authority, the Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices, RILO, in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Customs, local customs departments and more than 200 participants took part in the online workshop, which was facilitated by Khalil Saqer bin Gharib, Director of the Corporate Communication Department.
The workshop discussed the recommendation of Dubai Customs to connect the GCC countries with a unified risk management system, which, if implemented, will foster security and unify the efforts against illicit trafficking in the region. Hazardous shipments will be tracked and intercepted more efficiently with such a unified system.
“The success of the first workshop urges us to organise it annually on the same date,” said Khalil Saqer bin Gharib, Director of the Corporate Communication Department. “These events help us exchange expertise and knowledge on different methods used by smugglers, and feed the information banks of the GCC customs organisations with the latest technologies and methods of fighting this danger and intercepting high-risk shipments.”
This year’s theme “Better Knowledge for Better Care” is an expression of the International efforts and determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
Munira bint Khalid Al Rashid, Director of RILO, stressed on more exchange of intelligence information around customs seizures in cooperation with the local offices. She said there are three local offices in the UAE in the Federal Customs Authority, Dubai Customs and Abu Dhabi Customs.
Ahmed Abudallah Al Eisa, Director of the Control Center at Saudi Customs, said the coordination between customs authorities in Saudi takes place at the highest level to ensure safety and protect the society from the hazards of prohibited materials.
Huda Hamid Abdulla Belhoul, Director of Risk Management Department, Federal Customs Authority, said, “Complicated smuggling methods are one of the main challenges that customs authorities face nowadays, which urges us to have more cooperation in this regard,” she said.
Belhoul revealed that customs authorities thwarted 39 percent of seizures in the UAE in 2019.
Mohammed Al Hamli, Acting Manager of Investigation Section at Abu Dhabi Customs Authority, called for more cooperation between customs authorities and the RILO office to fight illicit trafficking and securing the borders.
Mohammed Ibrahim Al Raisi, Director of Khatm Melaha Customs Center in Sharjah Customs, talked about their role in fighting drug smuggling using the latest technologies and professional teams.
Khalid Ahmed, Senior Manager of Dubai Customs’ Passenger Operations Department at Dubai International Airport, Terminal 1, said training of inspection officers and continuous development of skills is a priority. The Department made 476 drug seizures in 2018, 1,222 seizures in 2019 and 360 seizures in Q1, 2020.
Fuad Al Swaidi, Senior Manager of Jebel Ali and Tecom Customs Center, said the different departments and sections of Dubai Customs work together as one team which have thwarted many smuggling attempts including 5,715 million captagon pills and 53,760 lyrica pills.