Customs inspectors at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 have foiled attempts to smuggle 28 fake documents. Twenty-five fake visas were intercepted with a passenger coming from an Asian country. The vigilant officers also seized three forged African passports in a separate smuggling bid.
According to Ali Al Mugahwi, Director of Airport Operations Department at Dubai Customs, the seizure of the 25 fake visas took place when one of the inspectors suspected an Asian passenger as the latter stepped into Customs inspection area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3.
Before starting the routine process of luggage inspection, the officer asked the passenger if he had anything to declare. The passenger denied anxiously. But the alert inspector was suspicious of the passenger’s gestures which showed signs of worry and nervousness while talking to the officer. So the inspector became more suspicious that the passenger was carrying prohibited items. He searched inside his baggage and found a number of entry permits to some Asian countries. It turned out later that these visas were not genuine. The suspect was attempting to get the fraudulent documents into the UAE for delivering them to other people in exchange for money.
In a separate interception, Customs inspectors at Terminal 3 caught an African passenger. Checking the suspect’s baggage, the officers uncovered three African passports which were scanned out as fake. The passenger was hiding the forged passports inside a book in his belongings. The inspectors detected, through the screening machine, an abnormally thick book, which raised their suspicions that the passenger was hiding something illegal in it. The officers opened the book to find three fake passports hidden carefully in its heavy cover. The papers were issued from an African country.
Both suspects intended to hand over the fraudulent visas and passports to people in the UAE for illegal use.
Al Mugahwi said that “smugglers often follow oblique ways to make money fast. They try to fool the Customs officers using new methods, but the vigilance of our inspectors preventedt all such illicit trafficking attempts. These officers have developed remarkable skills in the art of suspicion, allowing them to monitor the movements of passengers arriving at the airport and detect any suspicious cases.”
Dubai Customs are constantly trained to be able to detect false papers of all kinds. Forgery detection training courses are organised to enable inspectors to differentiate fake from original documents and identify the tricks used by offenders.
Dubai’s customs officers have previously managed to foil several bids to smuggle false papers into the UAE.
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