Watch: Dubai thwarts 234kg drug smuggling attempt in 'Operation Wheelhouse'

The illicit substances were discovered ingeniously concealed within the ship's wheelhouse

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A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 28 Dec 2023, 5:59 PM

Last updated: Thu 28 Dec 2023, 10:59 PM

Dubai Customs on Thursday said it thwarted a bid to smuggle 234.68 kilogrammes of narcotics, specifically hashish, in a wooden ship that raised suspicion upon arrival to the harbour.

Dubbed ‘Wheelhouse’, the operation was carried out at the Dubai Creek and Deira Wharfage Customs Centre.

Dubai Customs task force 'Siyaj' subjected the vessel to meticulous inspection, utilising the state-of-the-art Periscope technology designed for examining confined spaces. The device provides high-resolution images in darkness, facilitating contraband detection. The illicit substances were discovered ingeniously concealed within the ship's wheelhouse.

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The 'Siyaj' task force initiative is an intelligent and comprehensive security system deployed to monitor Dubai's customs checkpoints. Using modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, periscope technology, drones, canines, and environmentally friendly electric vehicles, this initiative aims to proactively detect and prevent the infiltration of prohibited and dangerous materials, ensuring the protection of Dubai’s borders and enabling safer global supply chains by reinforcing Dubai's position in international trade.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman and CEO of DP World Group, and chairman of Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation, said Dubai played a leadership role in combating drug-related risks and health hazards.

He emphasised the pivotal role played by Dubai Customs in national security efforts, safeguarding the community from major threats like drug smuggling.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, director-general of Dubai Customs, CEO of Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation, underscored the priority of protecting society from hazardous and smuggled substances, whilst facilitating legitimate trade activities.

Rashed Alsuwaidi, acting director of Maritime Customs Centers, said the introduction of unique devices such as the rapid container inspection device and the world's first X-ray scanning device for heavy and light vehicles helped detect such substances.

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