In a scene out of a heist movie, customs officials at the Dubai International Airport (DXB) stopped a passenger from an undisclosed country in Africa, hiding marijuana inside car spare parts he was bringing with him.
The passenger casually walked through customs carrying car spare parts in his baggage, including a vehicle’s cylindrical engine air filters. However, when the air filters passed through an x-ray machine, it showed they were abnormally dense for what they were, raising suspicion among the customs officers.
Customs Officers’ Reaction
Alarmed, one of the officers at DXB decided to take a closer look at the parts and dismantle them if required; he took apart the air filters, in which he found well-concealed small rolls of something hidden away under the metal webbings.
Wanting to get a better idea of what was inside the small rolls, the officers used a narcotics detector that could identify them for further analysis and testing, which later came back with the results that the small rolls contained marijuana. After weighing all of the small rolls, the total weight of the marijuana the man tried to smuggle into the country was 3.7kg.
The possession and smuggling attempt led to the arrest of the man and handing him over to the relevant authorities.
What Are The Laws Against Drugs?
UAE and most countries, strictly prohibits the purchase, possession, consumption, and distribution of drugs, according to the Federal Law Number 8 of 2016 concerning the Combating of Narcotics Substances, even though the country can look a bit more liberal than others.
Recently, the UAE relaxed its laws when it comes to first-time offenders, reducing prison sentences from two years to three months along with rehabilitation. However, harder drugs, smuggling, and trafficking carry a heavier sentence, including a 50,000 AED fine and a prison sentence of five years minimum.
What Did The Authorities Say About The Situation?
According to The National News, Khalid Ahmed, senior manager at Passenger Operations Terminal One at DXB, stated that the Dubai Customs department introduced “new technology” and “smart control systems” in order to combat smuggling and trafficking in the country.
“This includes modernization and advancement of our inspection systems and passenger luggage screening equipment, coupled with capacity building and raising the efficiency of customs inspectors to allow them to better fulfill their duty in protecting and securing borders against the smuggling of illegal substances that endanger society,” Khalid Ahmed, senior manager at Passenger Operations Terminal One at DXB told The National News.
He went on to say that the officers are trained and given updated information on what to look out for to foil smugglers’ new techniques to attempt to move drugs in or out of the country.
So, What Will Happen To The Smuggler Now?
While there is no information about the smuggler that the authorities detained, we can assume that he will go through the same punishment per law, which is a minimum fine of 50,000 AED fine and a prison sentence of five years.
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