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25 May 2024

Diamonds in stomach, drugs in phone: How smugglers try...

By Mohammed El Sadafy

Dubai Police officials are well trained and highly equipped to stop smuggling of all sorts, according to a top official, who said that smugglers were resorting to absurd and hideous methods.

Speaking to Emirates24|7, Ali Al-Mugahwi, Director, Airport Operations Department, Dubai Customs, said: “People were caught hiding drugs, valuables and currency in footwear, mobile phones and even in their stomach and other body parts.”

In the first nine months of 2013, Dubai Customs handled 1,269 cases of smuggling. Most smugglers, according to official statistics, are Asians.

Similarly, men outnumbered women in smuggling attempts during the period. About 1,150  men were arrested as against 117 women.

Meanwhile, most arrested were young – between the ages of 26 and 35, reveal statistics.

Forged credit cards, fake currency, gold, diamonds and drugs are most common hauls. However unique the methods smugglers resort to, they cannot escape the highly trained Dubai customs officials with their sophisticated equipment, said  Al-Mugahwi. Dubai airports have 53 inspection devices.

For instance, a passenger from an Asian country raised suspicion as he was carrying a microwave, which is cheaper in his home country. On checking it, police discovered narcotics weighing about 13,090 kg.

In another case, an African was caught with 624 kg of marijuana hidden in suitcases comprising frozen fish. The passenger had convinced officials that his suitcase contained food stuff for personal use. But inspectors didn’t buy his explanations.

Black magic

In yet another instance, X-Ray screening revealed items that appeared like bank notes inside the bags of an African national. Upon manual examination, they turned out to be items used for black magic, such as papers, animal skin, bones of fish, threads, etc.

In fact, X-Ray screenings have revealed some bizarre cases, said Al-Mugahwi. A passenger was nabbed for hiding 700grams of diamond in his stomach.

Another person who behaved suspiciously was escorted aside and checked only to reveal that he was carrying 555 grams of hashish in his shoes.

One Asian was caught with marijuana hidden in his book.