The Abu Dhabi police foiled an attempt to smuggle 18 workers, including several women, in a truck through the Khatam Al Shakla border in Al Ain. As many as 18 people — stuffed in a hollow truck bed — were trying to enter the United Arab Emirates (UAE) illegally through the Buraimi-Al Ain border checkpoint, a Gulf News report said, citing a police statement.
"The Abu Dhabi Police had received a tip-off about an attempted infiltration at the checkpoint and in coordination with the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi the infiltrators were arrested," the police said on Tuesday.
The identity or the nationality of the illegal immigrants was not immediately known.
"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," added the statement. The authorities were tipped off about the illegal smuggling attempt and so stepped up inspections at the border.
The Abu Dhabi police hailed the cooperation of strategic partners and their fruitful efforts, which contributed to foiling the infiltration attempt, stressing that there is no complacency with anyone attempt to tamper with the security and safety of the homeland.
The infiltration attempts are associated with various threats and crimes that may amount to murder, theft and aggression, and that the country is cracking down on these attempts.
The authorities also confirmed their keenness to enhance the security and stability and to intensify efforts in cooperation with the competent authorities in inspection, follow-up and control procedures.
The police pointed out that infiltration across borders is one of the most dangerous operations that have negative effects on the security of society, especially in view of the UAE's great economic progress, which makes the country a target of criminals, who will face the full force of law.
Media reports indicate an increase in human trafficking cases in the UAE in recent years. As many as 77 traffickers were prosecuted in 2018 and 10 of them were sentenced to life in prison. Poverty and unemployment are the most common causes of human trafficking as many victims are being lured with good jobs into leaving their countries but end up being exploited.