Muscat: Drug cartels and organised traffickers avoid Oman as a smuggling route, according to Royal Oman Police (ROP), thanks to the force’s efforts to keep the Sultanate safe.
Fewer arrests occurred due to a drop in drug-related crimes in 2017, according to data exclusively shared with the Times of Oman. The number of drug crimes, those arrested and the quantities of drugs confiscated have all declined, according to the statistics. The ROP has gone to great lengths to shut down operations of drug smugglers and cartels attempting to operate within the Sultanate, officials say.
The number of offenders arrested in 2017 stood at 3,297, down from 3,590 in 2016, a ROP official said.
Also, the number of drugs cases stood at 2,231 in 2017, compared to 2,538 in 2016. Moreover, the amounts of drugs confiscated by ROP stood at 2.2 tonnes in 2017, compared to almost 2.5 tonnes in 2016.
Regarding the decrease in smuggling, the spokesman for the Directorate General for Combating Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, noted, “Due to what has been accomplished by Omani authorities to deter drug cartels, and the losses drug smugglers suffered, the drug gangs have been forced to change their routes to other countries.
“The smuggling routes depend on the type of drugs and which country they come from. The smuggling routes include land, sea and air routes. The large quantities of drugs, like marijuana, come via the sea into the country. Small drug smuggling shipments take air route, including drug smuggling using passengers and
“The drug menace is a global issue, depending on supply and demand. Oman is distinguished by its strategic location and is a transit point for drug trafficking, because of the location of Oman on the Arabian Sea, Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean, as well as its proximity to areas where drugs are manufactured and shipped.”
“The Royal Oman Police is sparing no effort to work with other security agencies to protect the community from the drug menace because of its debilitating effects on society, especially when it comes to younger people.”
Abiding by the principle of “Prevention is better than cure”, ROP carries out a number of preventive programmes with the National Committee for Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances. It includes coordination with the media for preparing educational programmes, delivering lectures in universities, colleges and sport clubs, as well as setting up the mobile awareness exhibition on the ‘Impact of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances’.