The General Authority of Customs (GAC) has foiled an attempt to smuggle 17kg of marijuana into Qatar through the Hamad International Airport (HIA).
The contraband was found in the luggage of a passenger , who had arrived in Doha on a direct flight from an Asian country.
Khalid Hamad Rashid al-Kaabi, director of the HIA Customs Department, said Customs officers got suspicious while a bag carried by the traveller was being scanned. Accordingly, the bag was taken for a detailed manual search and three tightly wrapped packets filled with marijuana were found among clothes.
Al-Kaabi said Customs officers filed a report on the incident and handed over the culprit to the authorities concerned for necessary legal procedures and further investigation. They also seized the contraband .
He pointed out that in cases involving the seizure of narcotic substances from travellers, the department informs the Ministry of Interior’s Drug Prevention Department immediately for due legal action and to refer the case to the Prosecution. Simultaneously, the GAC follows up with the competent security department.
Al-Kaabi said the Customs often thwarts attempts by traffickers to bring in banned substances such as opium, cocaine, pills, hashish and others, hidden in travellers’ luggage. He also pointed to the skills of Customs officers in finding out such hidden substances. "They receive training from security experts and use sophisticated equipment for their operations."
According to GAC figures, around 1,500 seizures were made in 2013. These included 282 seizures of illicit drugs, 102 of narcotic pills, 17 of alcoholic substances, 80 of tobacco products as well as 162 violations of intellectual property rights, 19 pertaining to arms and ammunition and 689 commercial fraud.
Other cases pertained to smuggling of endangered animals, unethical materials and other banned items.