UAE: 78 tonnes of drugs worth Dh2.4 billion seized using AI in 5 years

Authorities also apprehended 179 suspects across 196 operations worldwide


Ruqayya Al Qaydi

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Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File
Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File

Published: Thu 2 May 2024, 9:02 PM

The UAE used tools powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to curb the promotion of narcotic drugs on social media and digital platforms. This helped the country claim the top spot globally for reducing drug-related crimes and rank first in the total reduction of drug-related reports and resulting fatalities.

Arrests of drug traffickers surged by 103 per cent, with over 78 tonnes of drugs seized in five years. These illegal narcotics have a street value of Dh2.4 billion, according to Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Minister of Interior.

The UAE blocked social media platforms and websites that promoted drugs – both locally and globally – with tools that automatically detect these illegal products.

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This came thanks to the efforts of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications collaborating with global partners such as Meta.

Sheikh Saif was addressing a Federal National Council (FNC) session that discussed the Ministry of Interior's drug control policy. He revealed data that highlights the UAE's efforts in reducing global drug-related offences and fatalities.

Participating actively in international operations, UAE authorities have apprehended 179 suspects across 196 operations worldwide, resulting in the confiscation of 6.9 tonnes of drugs.

Additionally, the UAE has intensified its crackdown on money laundering linked to drug crimes. With 1,881 bank accounts frozen and 173 suspects arrested, the country is taking decisive action to disrupt illicit financial activities, the minister added.

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