The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has reiterated the need to be careful while carrying medicines to the country and asked travellers to strictly follow procedures and restrictions that are in place.
This was reminded at a virtual seminar Wednesday by the General Directorate of Drug Enforcement, in co-operation with the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Interior (MoI).
First Lieutenant Abdullah Qasim, media and awareness officer at the Department, explained that it is not allowed for the arriving or departing travellers to carry drugs without a detailed and attested medical report by the hospital where they received treatment.
“The departing or arriving travellers are not allowed to carry drugs containing narcotics or psychotropic substances except in accordance with the controls and conditions issued by the authorities concerned. These should be carried with a medical report with a validity of not exceeding six months. The report should contain personal details of the patient, medical diagnosis, treatment plan and duration along with medical prescriptions and scientific name of the medicine,” he said.
The official asked travellers to ensure that their baggage does not contain narcotic substances or medicinal drugs with dangerous psychotropic substances. He also discussed the risks that drugs cause to the individual and society and the types of medicines and medical drugs that are prohibited to be brought into the country or used without approved prescriptions.
First Lt Qasim urged travellers not to carry the belongings of others while travelling to Qatar without checking their contents to avoid legal accountability.
"The carrier bears full criminal responsibility if these materials are prohibited in the country. Avoid bringing any suspicious substances or drugs. Because some narcotic substances and medicines may be allowed in the home country but banned in Qatar. Consult the government health institutions to get medicines. Stay away from suspicious places and bad friends.
“Anyone caught for the consumption of narcotic substances can get a fine of not more than QR10,000 and not less than QR5,000. Imprisonment for a period of not exceeding three years and not less than six months and a fine of not exceeding QR20,000 and not less than QR10,000 will be given in case of drug abuse. This applies to whomever imports, possesses, acquires, purchases, receives, transports, produces, extracts, separates or manufactures narcotic substances. Also, those who cultivate or possess or purchase plants listed in Schedule 4 with the intention of illicit consumption or personal use,” he explained.
The official said security is a shared responsibility and urged all to report if suspicious activities are found. “Persons will be responsible for drug abuse or trafficking carried out by their roommates if they fail to inform the authorities. Observe the kids well and intervene if any suspicious move is noted. Addicts will not be punished but instead taken care of well if they report to the authorities,” he added.
Incidents about drug abuse or trafficking could be informed and help could be sought at 2347000 and [email protected]
The MoI official, who gave a brief explanation about the General Directorate of Drug Enforcement, said that the authorities are implementing operations to control and combat various drug crimes. He also explained the work strategy pursued by the department to curb the illicit supply and demand for dangerous materials and psychotropic substances.
The directorate’s functions also include combating and controlling the crimes of cross-border smuggling through the air, sea and land ports in co-ordination with the authorities concerned, and combating and controlling the cultivation of narcotic plants or their promotion inside Qatar.