DUBAI: Dubai Customs inspectors foiled an attempt to smuggle luxury wristwatches and jewellery, valued at just over $820,000 (AED 3,016,000), into the emirate. A European passenger, arriving on board a flight from an East Asian country, was stopped by customs officials at Dubai International’s Terminal 3 carrying 76 luxury wristwatches and 6 items of jewellery studded with diamonds. The items were concealed under the passenger’s clothing, strapped around his body, according to Dubai Customs. Inspectors of Passenger Operations Department became suspicious about the man’s behaviour and carefully monitored him till he arrived at the customs zone. He was then x-rayed with a full-body scanner which revealed the jewellery and watches. A seizure report was initiated on the case and the suspect was referred to the relevant Dubai authorities, together with the seized items, to take legal action.
Dubai Customs said the suspect was bidding to illegally import the precious items into the emirate in order to avoid paying customs duty. Ibrahim Kamali, director of passenger operations at Dubai Customs, said his staff are always alert to attempts to smuggle goods into the emirate. “The seizure is a case of smuggling and duty evasion which our inspectors are always vigilant and adept to abort so as to protect customs revenues and Dubai’s economy,” said Kamali. “Some people believe this technique of smuggling dutiable, must-be-declared goods in commercial quantities inside their clothes to avoid paying customs fees. But Dubai airports are equipped with highly developed scanning technology that detect any objects in people’s bodies.”