x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Credit card smuggler's losing hand

A man has been arrested after 50 fake credit cards hidden in packs of playing cards were found in his suitcase at Dubai International Airport.

DUBAI //A man has been arrested after 50 fake credit cards hidden in packs of playing cards were found in his suitcase at Dubai International Airport.

The bank cards, said to have a purchase value of more than Dh1.5 million, were recovered after a routine search last Wednesday, customs officials said yesterday.

The man, an Asian who was not identified, was believed to have been directed to deliver the cards to an undisclosed recipient in the emirate. "A man and a woman of Asian origin gave him an amount of money in exchange for carrying the luggage," said Ali al Mugahwi, the Dubai Customs director of airport operations.

"They had already loaded it with the counterfeit credit cards so that he would deliver it to somebody else residing in Dubai."

An undercover customs body-language expert in the baggage collection area of Terminal 3 noticed the man was acting suspiciously.

The man was stopped and asked for his passport. A fake passport was then discovered in his luggage during a preliminary search. Inspectors later found four packs of playing cards that had been carefully sealed so as to give the impression they were new. They discovered the credit card cache when they opened them.

The bank cards are believed to be counterfeit rather than stolen, a customs official said, as they were all in the names of only three people, all believed to be fictitious.

The case has been forwarded to public prosecutors.

mcroucher@thenational.ae