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Dubai Customs thwarts 3.7kg cannabis smuggling attempt

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Authorities at Dubai International Airport seized 3.7 kilograms of cannabis from a passenger who had attempted to smuggle the substance by hiding it in vehicle parts.

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An inbound passenger from an undisclosed African country hid the drugs inside engine air filters which he tried to bring in through Terminal 1, the official WAM news agency reported on Tuesday.

Customs officers discovered the cannabis after x-raying the passenger’s bags and discovering an abnormal density in some of the items.

They then inspected the air filters and discovered small rolls of cannabis stashed inside them.

The suspect has been handed over to authorities for further legal action.

While the United Arab Emirates eased its laws in late 2021 to allow the importation of THC, a non-intoxicating substance extracted from cannabis, the drug itself is still strictly prohibited.

In June, Dubai Customs seized nearly six kilograms of cannabis plant hidden inside peanut paste containers.

Khalid Ahmed, Senior Manager of Passenger Operations at Terminal 1, said: “Dubai Customs adopts an integrated series of advanced smart procedures and technologies to address all smuggling attempts, in line with its Strategic Plan 2021-2026.”

“This includes the modernization and advancement of our inspection systems and passenger luggage screening equipment, coupled with capacity building and raising the efficiency of customs inspectors to better fulfil their duty in protecting and securing borders against the smuggling of illegal substances that endanger society.”

Dubai Customs, in an interview with Al Arabiya English in June, said that the body was responsible for 936 drug seizures over the first four months of 2022, compared to 558 seizures in the same period last year.

The department is equipped with high-tech scanning and drug detection technology including a container inspection system capable of examining 160 trucks per hour, and a marine robot resembling a dolphin that inspects vessels and can capture images of contraband thrown overboard.

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