'Baggage hunter' hunted by Dubai airport police

An Arab passenger, apparently specialized in baggage theft at airports, stole four bags belonging to other passengers at Dubai’s international airport before he was seized by customs men who had suspected him from the beginning.

Dubbed by a local newspaper as “the baggage hunter”, the man had arrived aboard Emirates from another Arab country and immediately headed for the passenger baggage claim area at Terminal 3.

Customs men watching for any unusual activity at the airport quickly suspected the man as he kept moving between various baggage claim areas at that terminal.

“They noticed that the passenger picked some bags from claim areas for different flights from several countries…so our men focused on that passenger,” Emirat Alyoum daily said, quoting Ali Al Maqhawi, airport operations chief at Dubai Customs.

“We quickly formed a team to keep track of the passenger, who was then seen heading for baggage areas belonging to flights coming from European countries…he was picking large bags which look expensive and taking the airline’s label off the bag in a bid to mislead the customs authorities.”

He said the customs men were waiting for the passenger when he came for baggage check-up, adding that he was asked whether the bags belong to him.

“When he said yes, he was asked to open them for inspection…but he could not as he claimed he did not have the key….our men then contacted Emirates to enquire about the passenger and they said he was travelling only with a handbag….investigation also showed that four other passengers reported the loss of their baggage.”

Maqhawi said the bags were identified by the four passengers, adding that the suspect then confessed that the bags de not belong to him.

“He was referred to the airport security so it will interrogate him and take the necessary measures against him for baggage theft.”

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