The 50th session of the Subcommission on Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the Near and Middle East discussed the growing phenomenon of cybercrime;  specifically highlighting the outbreak and spread of illicit drug trafficking via websites.

The session of the Subcommission, which is hosted by UAE, was organized by the Ministry of Interior in cooperation with the Subregional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Commission. Throughout the meeting, many participating countries in addition to the UAE highlighted their national experiences in establishing electronic anti-narcotic departments, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and India.

Colonel Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Deputy Director General of Anti-Narcotic Federal Directorate General at the Ministry of Interior, showcased the measures taken by the Ministry of Interior in this area. He noted that the measures are based on the Federal Law No. (5) for 2012 on combating cybercrimes, and the Ministry’s Strategic Plan to combat drugs, eradicate the scourge from society, and to develop initiatives that support the anti-narcotic plans.

The Gulf Criminal Information Center to Combat Drugs (GCC-CICCD) addressed its experience in partnering with the Subregional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, and in establishing a regional group of experts specializing in advanced countering and analyzing drug-traffic information. The efforts fall in line with the aim to strengthen regional and Gulf protective barriers through liaison officers of the GCC in the Center.

The meeting also discussed the challenges related to stimulating regional and international cooperation in support of joint operations to combat drugs. Discussions were not limited to the regional level, as they also discussed the non-regional level with the involvement of the remaining centers and regional groups that face common challenges, whether in Asia, Europe and the Americas, through the global network of the United Nations Office on Combating Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The meeting also discussed the current trends in illicit drug markets in the region, and the efforts carried out by the competent authorities to effectively combat this scourge; which have incorporated collaborative work, cooperation, and coordination amongst all countries.

For his part, Captain Abdul Rahman Showaiter, Head of the International Cooperation at the Anti-narcotics Department, the Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Bahrain, said: “Our participation in this meeting aims to review and avail of the international experience in the fight against drugs.” Moreover, Captain Al Showaiter pointed out that drugs are a global scourge and that the Ministry of Interior of Bahrain has made great strides in the fight against narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, in cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Gulf Criminal Information Center to Combat Drugs (CICCD). “Sharing information amongst the GCC countries resulted in foiling many drug attempts, targeting smuggling lines, and keeping abreast of the modern techniques used by traffickers.”

After noting the increasing amounts of smuggled drugs and the difficulty of preparing traditional ambushes to apprehend the traders and traffickers of heroin in the Kingdom, he indicated that a highly professional team was formed to combat the smuggling of heroin from production countries. “This team was successful in foiling nearly 22 kilos of heroin since the beginning of this year. So far, a lot of information has been passed to the GCC by the Gulf Information Center,” he said.

Captain Al Showaiter addressed the levels of awareness and coordination amongst government agencies in order combat the scourge of drugs. He highlighted the awareness materials and curriculum in schools, and the organization of seminars dedicated to talking about the dangers of drugs.

Moreover, he stressed the high-level of cooperation and coordination between the Kingdom and the Gulf Cooperation Council in the exchange of information and experiences in relation to countering the trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances. “Many perpetrators involved in drug trafficking have been apprehended as a direct result of our international cooperation, coordination, and exchange of information,” he said.
Cookies help us improve your website experience. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.