x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Diamond smuggler caught in Dubai

An African woman has been caught trying to smuggle Dh4m worth of rough diamonds through Dubai International Airport.

An African woman has been caught trying to smuggle more than Dh4 million worth of rough diamonds through customs at Dubai International Airport. The woman was stopped by customs officials at Terminal 1 last week after they noticed she was behaving "suspiciously" on arrival at the airport, Dubai Customs said in a statement today. After being stopped, the woman was scanned with hi-tech equipment to determine if she had anything hidden in her intestines, but instead the scan revealed two large cloth bags filled with diamonds strapped to her body. The diamonds, which had not yet been cut and polished in preparation for sales, have been seized, according to the statement. The valuation department at Dubai Customs estimates the haul to be worth Dh4.325m. "The passenger has been transferred to the relevant security agencies for further legal action," the statement said. Dubai Customs declined to specify which African country she was flying from or her nationality for legal reasons. Customs officials are trained to detect smugglers by picking up the smallest signals in passengers' body language, such as nervous movements and sweating. The scanning equipment at the airport is some of the most sophisticated of its kind in the world and, combined with stiff penalties, may be acting as a deterrent for smugglers. The total number of cases prosecuted from the airport decreased to 682 in the first six months of this year, from 752 cases in the same period last year.

lmorris@thenational.ae