Dubai Customs foils attempt to smuggle 91million Tramadol tablets worth around AED 1 billion

Press release
Published May 1st, 2012 - 10:29 GMT
91 million Tramadol tablets foiled by Dubai Customs
91 million Tramadol tablets foiled by Dubai Customs

Dubai Customs, successfully foiled an attempt to smuggle 91 million Tramadol tablets, with total value estimated at AED 1billion. The drug is prohibited to be used outside the medical normal use.

 The seizure was a knock out for the traffickers who deal in this type of drug which is widely used by young people in many other countries in the region. The large amount was caught at Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone hidden in 1695 carton boxes inside 6 containers, four 40-square-foot containers and two 20-square-foot containers coming from an Asian country through different navigation lines were intended to fool and distract attention of Customs inspectors. Yet, the wishes of the unscrupulous people who always seek to have unlawful earning were collapsed and scandalized by the vigilance and high security alert of Dubai Customs inspectors who managed to detect and failed the conspiracy of the importing company.

 Mr Saeed Ahmed AL-Tayer, Senior Director of Jebel Ali Cargo Operations Department said that they have tracked the activities of the suspected company operating at Jebel Ali Free Zone. The available information at Dubai Customs e-Clearance System indicated that, and as per to the Customs declaration, the company had imported huge amounts of cosmetics and medical instrument and the goods were in the way arriving by sea from some Asian Country to Jebel Ali Port. The inspectors, with their experience and vigilance managed to discover that trick.

The examination proved that the cartons contained drugs of tramadol and the description was not in conformity with the declaration which mentioned the goods as cosmetics and medical instruments without identifying their types. The cartons were resealed and the contraband was halted. A sample was sent to the Ministry of Health, which is the competent authority. The use of this opiate substance without a medical prescription may endanger life, result in heart attack and then death. The Ministry reported that the drug is enlisted as a prohibited opiate not permitted to use without a medical prescription and it is under restricted control.

The Ministry report also stated that the importing company by violating Customs regulations and misrepresenting information, has also violated many Articles under the Federal Law No 4-19983 (The Pharmaceutical Professions and Institutions Contents), including that the importing company is a trading company and not licensed to import pharmaceuticals; besides, the company had not obtained a prior permit (basic condition for clearing shipment) to import the medical drug and also the company did not have any license for establishing a medical storing warehouse and even the storage was not in compliance to the world and local specification.

It was clear that the large imported amount was intended for business purposes and not for medical use. Intention was to sell this drug in large quantities  at the local market. The drug can generate effects similar to those of cocaine and leads to addiction which will force the addict to double the doze to reach for the desired effect. This, in turn, can lead to heart attacks and death when used in this way. Overdosing can cause breathing difficulties, drowsiness, dizziness, skin rash, tingling, sleeping, coma, uncontrollable shaking of part of body, nausea, hallucinations, heart attack and death. other symptoms of overdose also include decreased size of the eye pupil, vomiting and chills.

Background Information

Dubai Customs

Dubai Customs is one of the leading government departments taking part in enhancing sustainable development and promoting Dubai’s image worldwide, turning it into a principal capital, business and tourism destination, as it facilitates smooth movement of legitimate trade and leverages economic and social development, the matter which is consistent with its slogan stating "gateway to Dubai’s prosperity", because prosperity is usually based on free trade through a safe, fast and practical environment to meet the needs of people and adapt to their requirements. This in addition to DC’s main role to protect society and borders against those who try to smuggle prohibited substances to or through Dubai threatening the community safety and security.

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