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The UAE Stiffens Punishments for Drug Traffickers

Smugglers and drug dealers will have their money and possessions seized thanks to the Arab nation’s tough new stance in the war on drugs.

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates Shutterstock

By Shawn Dwyer

02/03/14

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If you’re a drug trafficker or drug dealer caught in the United Arab Emirates, plan on having all of your possessions seized by the state.

In an effort to curb drugs flowing into their country, the UAE will now move to confiscate any property or money thought to be associated with the sale or trafficking of drugs. All seizures will be enforced by the Ministry of the Interior. The UAE’s new posture comes from its geographically unique position, which puts the country at greater risk for drug trafficking.

“This stems from the activation of the counter-narcotics strategy, aiming to reduce drug supply [opportunities] represented by various security efforts made in different fields in view of impeding drug access to the UAE,” said Col. Saeed Abdullah Al Suwaidi, director general of the Federal Drug Control Administration.

“The vigilance and readiness of relevant agencies to counter drugs deters most traffickers and smugglers, due to the successful foiling of large quantities of creatively concealed narcotics,” Al Suwaidi said. “The UAE’s response to drug trafficking is the first line of defense.”

As the country toughens its stance against drug dealers, the UAE aims to increase focus on drug treatment programs by raising awareness about the serious damage done to an addict’s health, among other aspects. “The services provided for addicts in the country are among the best in the advanced world and follow the best international standards,” said Dr Hatem Fouad Ali, head of the U.N. regional office on drugs and crime. “Exempting addicts who hand themselves in to receive treatment or who are reported by relatives is a decision in the right direction since it helps in solving addiction problems at the start before they are left to fester.”

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