In a ground-breaking operation named ‘Wheelhouse’, Dubai Customs thwarted a bid to smuggle 234.68 kilograms of hashish.
During the operation, carried out at the Dubai Creek and Deira Wharfage Customs Center, a wooden dhow that raised suspicion upon arrival to the harbour was stopped by the Customs team.
Leading the operation, 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-res images in darkness, facilitating contraband detection. The illicit substances were discovered ingeniously concealed within the ship’s wheelhouse.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World Group, and Chairman of Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation, affirmed Dubai’s global leadership 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.
Bin Sulayem highlighted the strategic vision outlined in Dubai Customs’ 2021-2026 strategic plan, aiming to lead secured customs globally, with a focus on continuous development of human resources and inspection standards.
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.
Musabih commended the Customs officers for their top-notch abilities in drug detection and body language analysis, reinforcing Dubai’s position as a global hub for safe legitimate trade.
Siyaj task force
The ‘Siyaj’ task force initiative is an intelligent and comprehensive security system deployed to monitor Dubai’s customs checkpoints. Harnessing 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.
Rashed Alsuwaidi, Acting Director of Maritime Customs Centers, acknowledged the evolving methods of smuggling and the high vigilance of Dubai Customs officers in countering these techniques. He highlighted the department’s continuous efforts to enhance inspection capabilities, citing 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. These innovations significantly reduce inspection time, supporting the seamless flow of legitimate trade through Dubai’s ports, he added.