Source: Gulf News

Abu Dhabi police officers were able to thwart the smuggling of 18 workers at the Khatam al Shakla border, which stands as a checkpoint between the Omani Al Buraimi governorate and the UAE city of Al Ain.

In an attempt to illegally enter the UAE, the 18 men and women were stuffed into a hollowed-out truck bed. Law enforcement officials were able to locate and arrest these infiltrators on Tuesday after they were tipped off about the illegal venture across borders.

The police released a statement, saying "Human trafficking, or people smuggling, is the facilitation, transportation, attempted transportation or illegal entry of a person or persons across an international border, in violation of laws of one or more countries, either clandestinely or through deception, such as the use of fraudulent documents."

They also stressed the lack of triumph anyone will experience when attempting to tamper with the security and safety of their homeland. These illegal endeavors are believed to cause an increase in crimes and threats against citizens of the country, which is why authorities take serious action against those who commit them.

In 2018, 77 traffickers were caught and arrested, 10 of whom are currently serving life in prison. That same year, a truck that was carrying cement was stopped at the Khatam customs center after the discovery of 22 illegal immigrants trying to enter the country. 

"We received reports about a plan to smuggle immigrants into the country. Extensive inspections were carried out," Ali Al Kaabi, chairman of the customs authority, told The National at the time. "Customs officers scanned the cement mixer and found dozens of individuals hiding."

In July 2017, two different trucks were thoroughly inspected after the suspicious nature of the drivers - one Arab and the other Asian - by customs officers. Two Arabs were found in the first truck, while an Asian was discovered in the second. 

In the last three months alone, the UAE has busted over half a dozen illegal trafficking incidents including humans, heroin, marijuana, birds, crocodiles, and even cheetahs. Authorities are keen on enhancing the country's security by strengthening efforts to thwart these attempts before they even occur.