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Dubai: Animal skin, bones among witchcraft items seized at airports over last 3 years

Web report/Dubai
Filed on May 16, 2021

Materials used in magic and sorcery are prohibited from being brought into the country.


Dubai Customs recorded 35 attempts to smuggle materials used in witchcraft and sorcery over the past three years.

According to Emarat Al Youm, authorities seized 47.6 kg of such materials over 12 instances in 2018, 12.9 kg over 18 instances in 2019, and 7.9 kg over five instances in 2020.

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Dubai airport authorities noted that materials used in magic, quackery and sorcery are prohibited from being brought into the country, based on the decision of the GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee. The list of prohibited goods agreed upon between the GCC states includes objects that contradict Islamic beliefs and public morals, such as materials used in magic and witchcraft.

Authorities explained that attempts to bring these prohibited materials into the country are considered smuggling, in accordance with the unified customs law, and are confiscated and referred to the relevant authorities for destruction.

An official for Dubai Airport explained that the detection of these prohibited materials depends primarily on the competence of customs inspectors in reading signs and body language and properly searching the suspect’s luggage to uncover these materials.

These materials often include talismans, animal skins, paper scraps, pieces of metal, animal blood, hair, bones, pictures of animals, rings, amulets, needles, knives, liquid materials, and books used to conduct these works.

He added that the inspection staff at Dubai Customs is trained to deal with these types of seizures in a professional manner, through trainings in coordination with the Department of Islamic Affairs, and the confiscated materials are transferred to warehouses where specialists dispose of them according to appropriate methods.

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Regarding the most prominent seizures, the Dubai Airport official said that, in 2018, authorities had seized the bag of a traveller from an African country which contained 10.3 kg of talismans, scraps of paper, and books and tools used in magic.

Another traveller from the same African country was caught in 2019. His bag contained talismans and other items weighing a total of 8.4 kg, while, last year, another bag from an Arab country containing 4 kg of sorcery material was seized.





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