UAE: 18,000 kg of drugs seized by anti-narcotics forces last year

Abu Dhabi - More than 6,900 suspects arrested for drug-related crimes in 2020.

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By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:01 PM

Last updated: Sat 26 Jun 2021, 10:03 PM

The UAE anti-narcotics forces seized more than 18,000 kg of drugs in 2020 and an online platform has been launched to track the sale of controlled medicines, top officials said, marking the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Brig Saeed Abdullah Al Suwaidi, director general, Federal Drug Control at the Ministry of Interior, and deputy chairman of the Anti-Narcotics Council, noted that UAE’s efforts in combating drugs have kept pace with the modern development and use of best technologies to achieve desired results in nabbing drug dealers and thwarting their smuggling attempts.

“The annual report on drug-related crimes for 2020, issued by the Federal Anti-Narcotics Department at the Ministry of Interior, reflects the efforts and achievements made at local and international level. The number of suspects arrested at the local level in drug crimes reached 6,973, and the quantities seized last year was 18,003 kg. These stats indicate the great efforts made by the control agencies to deal with this plague.”

Brig Al Suwaidi said the Ministry of Interior has launched an online platform, in cooperation with the health authorities, to monitor the disbursement of narcotic and psychotropic substances and reduce its misuse.

Lt-Gen Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chief of Police and Public Security in Dubai, and chairman of the Anti-Narcotics Council, said: “There is no doubt the problem of drug trafficking is one of the topmost challenges faced by the security agencies in the world. Despite all the difficulties emerging because of this pandemic, we are determined to turn those challenges into opportunities by developing and raising the capabilities of teams.”

Lt-Gen Tamim said that highly skilled personnel have been able to detect the newer and innovative patterns deployed by the drug dealers amid the travel curbs implemented at airports and ports.

Lt-Gen Tamim commended the cooperation between the strategic partners, including ministries, agencies, government departments and different agencies and entities to fight the spread of drugs.

“There are united efforts working towards the vision of our wise leadership in consolidating the UAE’s position among the best countries in addressing drug abuse and illicit trafficking.”

Dr Hamad al Ghaferi, director general, the National Rehabilitation Center, chairman of the National Higher Committee for Treatment and Rehabilitation, member of the Anti-Narcotics Council, underlined that the field of dealing with drug addicts is one of the most dynamic areas.

“We maintain strict patient confidentiality and privacy to encourage any patient to voluntarily apply for treatment. A high rate of voluntary demand for treatment was observed during the pandemic, especially in light of the flexible options offered by the center for treatment and through the virtual clinic.”

Since its establishment in 2002, the centre has received 4,600 patients and supported recovery rates from addiction in the country to reach 66 per cent, which is one of the highest rates in the world.

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