Muscat: Smugglers who attempt to sneak drugs into Oman are regularly coming up with newer methods to dupe law enforcement officials in the country requiring the Royal Oman Police to adopt modern and advanced means to monitor, track and apprehend criminals.
Last year, the ROP seized 21 tonnes of drugs and two million pills of psychotropic substances from smugglers, said Lt. Col. Sulaiman bin Saif Al Tamtami, the director of enforcement administration at the Directorate General of Combating Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
“Smugglers use varied means to transport and conceal drugs such as boats,” he said. “They move quickly, land them on the beaches in rugged areas, bury them and sometimes hide them in construction materials, food and other places.
“The vigilance of our officers helped in detecting and stopping these criminal attempts,” he added. “The Royal Oman Police pays great attention to combating narcotics and psychotropic substances as well as illicit trafficking, as per security and preventive norms and legislation.
“The presence of a community partnership helps us in effectively controlling this crime which is a serious international scourge that has devastating effects on the security and safety of states and societies – both at present and in the future,” he said.
Drug crimes are among the most serious offences in Oman. In terms of investigation, such crimes require great effort and careful work by the authorities involved in their prevention.
In collaboration with other teams at the Royal Oman Police, the Directorate General of Combating Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is constantly working to develop new methods and enhance capabilities to thwart the attempts of drug traffickers and smugglers.
Through continuous efforts of the Royal Oman Police divisions, present across the geography of the country, society is protected from the harmful effects of drugs and their spread.
The Law on Combating Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances issued by Royal Decree No. 17/99 and amendments to Royal Decree No. 34/2015, has recommended strict penalties for drug smugglers and those who commit crime in collaboration with international criminal gangs.
Punishment could include the death penalty or life imprisonment, in addition to fines of OMR50,000.
The law also brings under its ambit drug abusers and their relatives up to the second degree.
“However, when it comes to kinship, it is stipulated in Article 65 that a criminal case must not be instituted against the next of kin, in case he has requested the abuser to take treatment at a clinic, provided that this is done before he is arrested in connection with a drug crime,” said Al Tamtami.
“Thus, we can find that the legislator has given the abuser an opportunity to be treated for drug addiction at an approved clinic in Oman – either government or private – or that his family has applied for him to seek treatment on his behalf, in the hope that he would return to the straight path and become an active member of the community,” he added.
Furthermore, anyone who takes initiative to report such activities to the authorities shall be exempt from punishment in accordance with Article 69 of the law, which concerns informing the authorities about the crime before it was committed.
By informing the authorities and coming to the police, the informer has obviously aimed to have the perpetrators retract their crimes and find a solution to combating this crime by getting those involved punished.