x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Drugs in suitcase at Dubai lead to Asia arrest

Officers transfer luggage under strict control to Asian flight.

DUBAI // Drugs detected inside luggage on a carousel at Dubai International Airport led to the arrest of a suspected crystal meth smuggler in Asia, officials said yesterday.

A female passenger tried to smuggle 3.4kg of the drug, said Ali al Meghawi, the director of the airport operations department at Dubai Customs.

Officials said the woman arrived at Terminal 1 from an Asian country and bought a plane ticket out of Terminal 3 for a different destination in Asia.

"A customs inspector suspected a piece of luggage on the cargo carousel at Terminal 1," said Mr al Meghawi. "After enquiring about the luggage, it appeared to belong to an Asian female passenger who headed to the transit lounge."

She had decided to change her destination from Dubai to Asia and asked to have her luggage placed on the flight leaving Terminal 3, Mr al Meghawi said.

"This move increased the customs employee's suspicions," he said. "Therefore her luggage was inspected through the machine, which detected a foreign object inside it suspected to be narcotics."

After co-ordinating with the airport security department and the Dubai Police anti-narcotics division, information about the passenger was sent to authorities at her final destination, Mr al Meghawi said.

The luggage was also delivered to the destination under controls.

Upon her arrival, the woman was detained at the airport and an inspection of her luggage revealed 3.4kg of methamphetamine, or crystal meth, officials said.

"This reflects Dubai Customs inspectors' expertise and vigilance, which resulted in foiling the smuggling attempt through meticulous co-ordination and information exchange with the respective authorities internationally," Mr al Meghawi said.

amustafa@thenational.ae