Participants at the workshop
In line with its commitmentto work with international bodies in the pursuit of real-world safety, free from security threats, The General Directorate of Customs- Abu Dhabi recently participated in a workshop entitled “Detection of smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials”, which was organised by the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest, Hungary.
The workshop was attended by 27 participants from the UAE, Republic of Hungary and Turkey, and presented by a group of officials from the US Department of Homeland Security. It aimed to introduce the risks of radioactive and nuclear materials and to raise awareness about the different methods used to smuggle weapons in and out of the country. Delegates learnt about the theoretical and operational methods, as well as the devices used to detect weapons, in addition to the practical application of the knowledge gained during the workshop.
Commenting on the workshop, HE Saeed Ahmed Abdullah Al Muhairi, Director General of the General Directorate of Customs said: “The participation of the Abu Dhabi Customs delegation falls in line with the directives of the higher management at the Department of Finance- Abu Dhabi called for the training and development of customs staff, to equip officials with additional skills and international expertise in order to better protect the public from possible risks including nuclear and radioactive materials.”
HE added: “The General Directorate of Customs – Abu Dhabi has a clear strategy to strengthen its staff members’ capabilities and enhance their level of awareness about the risks of customs and security, by educating them about the best international practices in terms of Customs work. This comes as part of a drive to achieve its vision of enhancing homeland security and facilitating trade through customs checkpoints.”
Furthermore, the workshop covered a number of other important topics such as the detection methods of smuggling operations and the role of law enforcement. The session also included an overview of radiation safety awareness and raised the issues of trafficking and the production of uranium and plutonium.
The workshop also included a talk about radioactive materials and weapons as well as illegal shipping and smuggling attempts. In addition, topics such as the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture and radiation detection technologies and their operation procedures were discussed. Participants were also provided with a training exercise in detecting nuclear and radioactive activities.
Moreover, the workshop featured a presentation on the advanced detection methods available and the development of national detection capabilities to allow attendees to apply the methods of detecting nuclear and radioactive material in their work and inform them about the risks of nuclear radiation.
The session was concluded with a presentation about international cooperation and nuclear forensics followed by a closing speech by John Terpinas, Director of ILEA in which he thanked the attendees for their participation and strong cooperation which positively impacted the workshop.
It’s worth to mention that a high profile delegation from the General Directorate of Customs- Abu Dhabi headed by HE Saeed Ahmed Abdullah Al Muhairi, Director General of the General Directorate of Customs, visited the ILEA in Budapest last year to review the results achieved by the Academy which covers the Eastern Europe and Central Asia territory as well as discuss ways to host the ILEA projects in the UAE at the new Customs Training Center in Al Ain. This will position the UAE on the world map in terms of customs training capability and will help prepare a well-equipped nation youth.