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Mon 9 Mar 2015 01:28 PM

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Dubai Customs seize $16m worth of Tramadol pills

Haul of 3 million pills seized at Dubai Cargo Village Customs Centre is described as the largest ever

Dubai Customs seize $16m worth of Tramadol pills
Image for illustrative purpose only. (Getty Images)

Dubai Customs officials have foiled an attempt to smuggle three million Tramadol pills, with an approximate street value of $16 million (AED60m), at Dubai Cargo Village Customs Centre.

The seized Tramadol consignment, which came from an Asian country by air, was described by Director of Dubai Customs Ahmed Mahboob Musabih as “one of the biggest seizures of its kind made by Dubai Customs”. He said the customs intelligence system, Risk Engine, was used to seize the pills.

“The Risk Engine is a smart system which is primarily fed with up-to-date inputs from various resources, enabling it to identify suspected shipments at a high level of accuracy,” he said.

Musabih explained that the clearance company mentioned in the customs’ declaration had said the parcels contained medical products and lab equipment.

However, after analysis of available data on the history of the importer, customs officials believed that the shipment was likely to contain the narcotic Tramadol, a controlled medicine that the company is officially not authorised to import.

“Cracking down on smugglers and safeguarding the community are major responsibilities on our shoulders. Two years ago, we launched a huge awareness campaign about the side effects of Tramadol, jointly with Dubai Health Authority and DMI. The drive had a positive impact on the public, particularly youngsters, as they are the most targeted by drug dealers,” Musabih said.

Jebel Ali Customs officers had earlier managed to confiscate a shipment of Tramadol imported under the same company.

Based on its history, the company was targeted by the Risk Engine to track its shipments coming through all ports in the emirate. The system was alerted that a consignment was coming by air in the company’s name. Intelligence officers closely monitored the consignment until it arrived at the Cargo Village Customs Centre.

“The risk assessment system was subsequently notified that the company in question will receive another suspected consignment by air cargo from an Asian country, which we are currently tracking down,” said Talal Al Abdooli, Customs Intelligence Director.

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Bharathan 5 years ago

Kudos to Dubai Customs for their successful efforts in Cracking down on smugglers and safeguarding the community.