The General Authority of Customs (GAC) seized a large quantity of prohibited items during Ramadan, including thousands of liquor bottles and several kilograms of marijuana and chewing tobacco.
Customs officers at Hamad Port and Hamad International Airport (HIA) managed to foil attempts to smuggle into the country 21,616 bottles of liquor, over 19 tonnes of chewing tobacco and 17kg of the illicit drug, marijuana, according to a press statement by the GAC.
At Hamad Port, Customs officers seized a total of more than 19 tonnes of chewing tobacco in three separate operations. The tobacco was found hidden inside consignments of wooden doors and electronics. The seizures amounted to 12 tonnes, 6 tonnes and 1.16 tonnes.
After on-duty officers found the contents of a consignment of wooden doors suspicious, a thorough scan was conducted and it revealed some 12 tonnes of chewing tobacco hidden inside the doors, stacked in small bags. Similarly, tobacco was found in two other consignments of loudspeakers and electronics, hidden and packed in the same way.
Some of the seized items.
Meanwhile, thousands of liquor bottles were seized at Hamad Port when the Customs officers in charge decided to carry out a thorough search of a consignment of olive oil. While the cartons carried labels of olive oil, the search revealed that they actually contained some 21,616 liquor bottles.
The liquor bottles were of the same size and weight as the olive oil the cartons were meant to be carrying.
In another development, 17kg of marijuana was seized at HIA in three different operations. Customs officers there detected the contraband inside the luggage and handbags of three travellers using the same method. The marijuana was hidden in their personal belongings and folded inside carbon paper.
Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Jamal, GAC president, honoured the seven Customs employees who helped seize the prohibited items and foiled the smuggling attempts. He also thanked all the Customs officers and employees whose alertness and efforts have helped in detecting and foiling various smuggling attempts in recent times.
Al-Jamal stressed that GAC officers are highly trained and capable, and are able to carry out their tasks and duties effectively.