Dubai Customs, Australian authorities cooperate for largest drug haul in Sydney since 2019

Shipment hidden inside marble slabs shipped from neighbouring country

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By Wam

Published: Thu 29 Sep 2022, 11:54 PM

Last updated: Fri 30 Sep 2022, 9:00 PM

Australian authorities succeeded in seizing about two tonnes of methamphetamines found inside shipping containers in a Sydney port, in cooperation with Dubai Customs, in the largest drug bust in Australia since 2019.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), said, "We are working to achieve integration in our efforts to protect society from risks and facilitate trade movement not only at the local level but also at the global level, in cooperation with the security authorities in the relevant entities to present an international unique model that distinguishes Dubai on the world map."

Bin Sulayem explained that the success of this operation came as a result of the support and directives of the top leadership to work on developing deep and solid relations between the UAE and various countries of the world, in the field of combating organised crime, noting the keenness of Dubai Customs to support all security authorities in combating organised crime and drug smuggling around the world, to create a society free of narcotics. He explained that Dubai Customs will not stop there, but intelligence work is currently underway to find information related to other smuggling operations that will be announced later.

For his part, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, CEO of PCFC and Director-General of Dubai Customs, stressed that Dubai Customs was the main success factor; from tracking and analysing shipments through intelligence obtained through the monitoring of these shipments and passing the information to the Australian authorities immediately. He added that this helped deliver the largest drug seizure in Australia since 2019, which involved a shipment, valued at Dh4.04 billion, hidden inside marble slabs shipped from a neighbouring country.

Mahboob stressed the continuous efforts of Dubai Customs to support legitimate trade and protect society, highlighting the readiness of its employees to combat all customs and security risks at the local and global levels, in order to reduce smuggling operations and limit the bad impact narcotics have on countries and societies.

Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Intelligence Department Director at Dubai Customs, indicated that the Australian authorities had earlier been able to arrest a gang formation in August of this year, after finding 748 kilogrammes of methamphetamines hidden in 24 containers that arrived at a berth at Port Botany, while another 1,060 kilogrammes of methamphetamines were found in 19 containers that arrived at the same port.

This joint operation is not the only one of its kind this year, as there were other operations that resulted in the seizure of quantities of methamphetamines in air shipments that were scheduled to pass through to Dubai, from one of the largest organised cross-border crime gangs involved in trafficking narcotics, who intended to use them in smuggling operations between South America and Australia.

From his side, Colin Drysdale, the Regional Director of Middle East & Africa at the Australian Consulate General in Dubai, praised the close cooperation with Dubai Customs, expressing his appreciation to the UAE and Dubai Customs for their keenness and tireless work in the face of smuggling operations.

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