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Dubai Customs seizes 171.2 kg of Cocaine  

 
 
Dubai Customs seizes 171.2 kg of Cocaine  
The contraband worth over AED200 million was hidden in a banana shipment imported from a South American country.
 

 

    
Dubai Customs has foiled a bid to smuggle 171.2 kilogrammes of cocaine, with a street value of more than AED 200 million, that was concealed inside a banana shipment.
“The drugs, the largest seized in the UAE in the last five years, were extracted from a shipment of 3,080 cartoons of banana at the Jebel Ali Port,” said Ahmed Al Khuroosi, Head of Customs Intelligence Department at Dubai Customs.
Dubai Customs inspectors seized the drugs haul in Jebel Ali seaport while inspecting the 45-tonne fresh banana shipment onboard a vessel which originated from a South American country and came to Dubai via Europe.
Al Khuroosi further noted that the smugglers used several methods of camouflage to divert attention from the shipment and mislead customs officers. They used articles of witchcraft and lead as a distraction and covered the bags of cocaine with an organic substance in a bid to avoid detection of the narcotics by X-ray scanners and sniffer dogs.
“They also changed the route of the shipment to deceive customs officers by first exporting the contraband to a European port, and then to the Jebel Ali Port as if it was originally imported from a European country,” he said.
However, in spite of all such attention-diverting manoeuvres, the customs inspectors were vigilant enough that they spotted the contraband after having doubt about the shipment while exposing it to scanning devices. “The K9 Squad was brought into the scene to check the items confiscated and positively reacted. The Customs Mobile Laboratory was also called in to take a sample examination and reported that the substance found was cocaine.”
The official said the operation was part of the Customs' strategy to combating illicit drugs and protecting the safety and security of the society, the youth in particular.
“A large quantity of a very dangerous toxin such as this would have definitely harmed the safety and security of our residents. We are always developing our strategies to identify such hazardous substances and prevent their smuggling into the country.”
Al Khuroosi said the cocaine seized was meant for trafficking in the local market, in view of its huge volume and the manner it was smuggled in. 
Dubai Customs made use of sophisticated devices and advanced information and risk analysis systems in thwarting the contraband.
   



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