Attempt foiled to smuggle Dh 1 bln worth Tramadol tablets

DUBAI - Dubai Customs has successfully foiled an attempt to smuggle 91 million Tramadol tablets, with total value estimated at AED 1billion. The drug is prohibited to be used outside the medical normal use.

By (Wam)

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Published: Tue 1 May 2012, 9:26 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:44 PM

The seizure was a knock out for the traffickers who deal in this type of drug which is widely used by young people in many other countries in the region.

The large amount was caught at Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone hidden in 1695 carton boxes inside 6 containers, four 40-square-foot containers and two 20-square-foot containers coming from an Asian country through different navigation lines were intended to fool and distract attention of Customs inspectors. Yet, the wishes of the unscrupulous people who always seek to have unlawful earning were collapsed and scandalized by the vigilance and high security alert of Dubai Customs inspectors who managed to detect and failed the conspiracy of the importing company.

Saeed Ahmed AL-Tayer, Senior Director of Jebel Ali Cargo Operations Department said that they have tracked the activities of the suspected company operating at Jebel Ali Free Zone. The available information at Dubai Customs e-Clearance System indicated that, and as per to the Customs declaration, the company had imported huge amounts of cosmetics and medical instrument and the goods were in the way arriving by sea from some Asian Country to Jebel Ali Port. The inspectors, with their experience and vigilance managed to discover that trick.

The examination proved that the cartons contained drugs of Tramadol and the description was not in conformity with the declaration which mentioned the goods as cosmetics and medical instruments without identifying their types. The cartons were resealed and the contraband was halted. A sample was sent to the Ministry of Health, which is the competent authority. The use of this opiate substance without a medical prescription may endanger life, result in heart attack and then death. The Ministry reported that the drug is enlisted as a prohibited opiate not permitted to use without a medical prescription and it is under restricted control.

The Ministry report also stated that the importing company by violating Customs regulations and misrepresenting information, has also violated many Articles under the Federal Law No 4-19983 (The Pharmaceutical Professions and Institutions Contents), including that the importing company is a trading company and not licensed to import pharmaceuticals; besides, the company had not obtained a prior permit (basic condition for clearing shipment) to import the medical drug and also the company did not have any license for establishing a medical storing warehouse and even the storage was not in compliance to the world and local specification.

It was clear that the large imported amount was intended for business purposes and not for medical use. Intention was to sell this drug in large quantities at the local market. The drug can generate effects similar to those of cocaine and leads to addiction which will force the addict to double the doze to reach for the desired effect. This, in turn, can lead to heart attacks and death when used in this way. Overdosing can cause breathing difficulties, drowsiness, dizziness, skin rash, tingling, sleeping, coma, uncontrollable shaking of part of body, nausea, hallucinations, heart attack and death. other symptoms of overdose also include decreased size of the eye pupil, vomiting and chills.

There were 1695 cartons inside the 6 containers that the company imported. They contained about 91million Tramadol tablets, which are prohibited to use in the country in pursuant to the Ministerial Decree No (15) 2011- Attached Tables of Federal Law No (14) 1995 (Second Article) concerning the Counter Measures against Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and its amendments which have added Tramadol and its other substances to the list. Therefore, this incident is considered a crime of smuggling with reference to the Provisions of Article 5/145 of GCC Customs Unified Law. According, a decision to confiscate the contraband was taken and it was referred to the related authority to destroy it.

Saeed Ahmed AL Tayer, Senior Director of Sea Cargo Operations, Jebel Ali explained that the seized amount was estimated at AED1billion and the Customs inspection team experience, vigilance and high security alert have successfully thwarted and prevented the infiltration of this amount to local use which could have caused harm to addicts, emphasizing that Dubai Customs, being the first line defender, will adhere to prevent the community from infiltrating prohibited goods and will not tolerate importation of restricted goods but only to follow condition and terms of legal procedures and will ensure safe sanity of people in the community.

Senior Director of Sea Cargo Operations pointed out that the negative impact of these drugs are huge because they hit the youth who are the backbone in the development process.

He stressed that Dubai Customs always seeks to achieve the strategic goal of protection and supporting legitimate trade through recruiting best skillful human capitals, honing their inspective skills through specialized training courses and programs which teach them about different types of narcotics and drugs. These efforts and courses enhance security alert of Customs inspectors and provide them with high advanced technical inspection tools to facilitate the operations for inspecting containers and shipments and these successfully for the last few years have culminated to come up with quality achievements in areas of inspection and enhanced image of Dubai as a secured transit destination.

Al Tayer said the Customs facilitations provided to businesses go in tandem with the controls and regulations which target community protection and prosperity.



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