(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The substance was seized by Jebel Ali Customs Centre.
The Jebel Ali Customs Centre made the discovery of the product called niswar at the Jebel Ali Customs Centre.
The drug, which has a street value of Dh56,000, was imported from an Asian country to be sold in the local market.
A senior official said the contraband, banned in all Gulf countries, was packed in 375 white bags to mislead the customs inspectors.
Ahmed Mahboob Musabah, Executive Manager of Customers Section at the Dubai Customs, said on Saturday that the owner of the cargo, an Asian, stopped his container amidst others which belonged to other companies at the Jebel Ali Free Zone.
"The man then reloaded the shipment of narcotics in an empty container to avoid suspicion and inspection, but the vigilant customs officers nabbed him and referred him to Public Prosecution."
He added that niswar is banned in the UAE. "It does tarnish the image of the city since the remains chewed and left behind on the ground or walls are hard to remove."
Musabah said the banned substance containing a mixture of tobacco, chemicals, and seeds available in southeastern countries, are very harmful.
"Niswar is one of the main reasons behind gum cancer, gastric and mouth ulcers, imbalance, depression, insomnia, exhaustion, laziness and lack of concentration, and teeth discolouring."
Ali Al Mugahwi, Director of Airport Operations Department at Dubai Customs, earlier told Khaleej Times that Dubai Customs had foiled 174 attempts to smuggle Niswar and Paan worth over Dh26,000 into the UAE over the last two years through the Dubai International Airport. "As many as 174 passengers were implicated in the seizures of the contraband which are chewed like the stimulating leaves of Qat plant."
Though the use of paan and Niswar are acceptable and considered a normal practice in some Asian countries, it is stringently banned here in the UAE.
Dubai Police warns all shop keepers against selling such prohibited substances. The Public Health Section of the Dubai Municipality is intensifying inspection raids to curb this growing negative phenomenon among younger generations. The use of Niswar, having the same impact of narcotics, can lead to a number of diseases and damages the nerve system, and hence is outlawed, he added.