MUSCAT: The Directorate-General of Customs at the Royal Oman Police (ROP) unveiled that the year 2022 saw 772 customs-related cases up by 252 cases or 48.4 per cent compared with the previous year. Of these, 691 cases were settled and 18 referred to the Public Prosecution.
Customs-related cases registered at land ports represented 86 per cent of these cases at to 665.
A report issued by the Royal Oman Police (ROP) indicated that the number of customs smuggling cases was 665 cases. In these cases, the smugglers used small and medium vehicles, refrigerated trucks used for transporting fruits, vegetables and fish, goods trucks, crusher trucks and cement transportation trucks. Customs smuggling through seaports represented 10 per cent with 78 cases registered, while customs smuggling cases via the airports amounted to 29 cases, or 4 per cent of the total case number.
A total of 187,859 bottles and cans of alcoholic beverages were seized at customs outlets in addition to 4,045,180 packs of cigarettes, 47,163 pieces of electronic cigarettes, 4,126 grammes of gold, 109 pieces of pneumatic weapons and binoculars and other items.
The Directorate-General of Customs at the Royal Oman Police indicated that the most notable customs cases in the past year were the arrest of 27 infiltrators of different nationalities from the Wilayat of Al Mazyouna. The infiltrators were discovered by using modern x-rays, the report said, indicating that the infiltration phenomenon constitutes a real security concern for many countries around the world including the Sultanate of Oman. ROP stressed that the issues of infiltration and entering the country illegally are among the most prominent customs issues.
The report also indicated that 115,950 cherry cigarettes were seized during a raid on a warehouse in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate carried out by the Investigation and Risk Assessment Department at the Directorate-General of Customs. The ROP customs department also seized 18,587 bottles of alcoholic beverages from the Wilayat of Barka. The customs department in cooperation with the Coast Guard Police foiled an attempt to smuggle 480,000 liters of diesel from Musandam Governorate.