x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Abu Dhabi customs inspectors discover Dh240,000 in diamonds in man’s socks

More than 100 gems were found in the sock of a man at Abu Dhabi airport, according to a customs release.

Diamonds found by Customs officers on a passenger who arrived at Abu Dhabi airport worth about Dh240,000. The Arab passenger had the precious stones hidden in his socks. Photo courtesy Abu Dhabi Department of Finance
Diamonds found by Customs officers on a passenger who arrived at Abu Dhabi airport worth about Dh240,000. The Arab passenger had the precious stones hidden in his socks. Photo courtesy Abu Dhabi Department of Finance

ABU DHABI // Diamonds worth almost Dh240,000 were seized from a passenger at Abu Dhabi airport after he hid them in his socks in a bid to avoid paying customs fees.

The Abu Dhabi General Directorate of Customs said the 25-year-old Arab, who is in police custody, was searched by inspectors on an evening shift after he showed signs of stress and anxiety. They found 129 diamonds.

According to a customs release, officials found a bag of gems – each worth about Dh1,860 – hidden in one of his socks.

“The culprit did not disclose the presence of the diamonds in order to avoid paying customs fees,” said the release. “A file was subsequently opened regarding this case and the authorities were informed to take the necessary legal action.”

In another incident, Abu Dhabi airport inspectors foiled an attempt by a passenger to smuggle 4,100 banned pills into the country. Officials arrested a 24-year-old Asian passenger who was trying to smuggle the drugs by wrapping them in carbon paper and hiding them inside medicine boxes.

In a third incident, Abu Dhabi Customs inspectors caught a man attempting to smuggle drugs into the UAE through the Al Ain border.

The Arab motorist was entering the country from Oman through the Khatam Al Shakla border carrying a quantity of pills without a prescription.

The release said: “A man travelling to the UAE through the Khatam Al Shakla border was carrying 392 narcotic pills, which are usually only provided through medical prescription.”

Customs officials stopped him after the vehicle he was driving seemed suspicious.

“The man was asked for his car registration and inspectors carried out a routine check of the vehicle and found rolled cigarettes, which seemed to contain narcotic materials.

“After a thorough search of the vehicle, inspectors found seven pharmaceutical containers, which were filled with 56 capsules each, comprising a total of 392 narcotic pills.”

Officials said the drugs were considered illegal without a doctor’s prescription because using them over a long period of time can result in addiction.

Saeed Ahmad Al Muhairi, the director general of the General Directorate of Customs, praised his officers and said their role was important in keeping the UAE and its citizens safe.

He also said the department of finance, headed by Hamad Al Hurr Al Suwaidi, was responsible for equipping customs officers with the latest technology to help them work efficiently.

pkannan@thenational.ae